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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

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Environmental or Non-Energy Benefits

A sustainable design inherently carries a host of environmental and non-energy benefits.  The WHCMSC laboratory addition and renovation project reduced the building’s impact on the surrounding natural environment by minimizing rainwater runoff, light pollution, habitat disruption, and impact of local energy demand.  The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) design analysis concluded that the energy and water conservation measures alone would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 68 thousand pounds or 45 percent, sulfur dioxide emissions by 225 pounds or 33 percent, and nitrogen oxides by 138 pounds or 36 percent.  In addition, the annual electricity savings realized by relocating the frozen storage samples to an appropriate indoor facility corresponds to a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 1,250 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane).

The health of the occupants was taken into the utmost consideration while planning for this sustainable facility.  Specific building construction and finishing materials were chosen to reduce VOC and other chemicals which off gas to maintain a high level of indoor air quality.  In addition, the use of natural ventilation and lighting improves building occupant satisfaction, as does the maximization of natural views.  All these components achieve a natural connection for the occupants between the building and the natural surroundings.

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