NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF), Suitland, MD
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Project Name: NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF), Suitland, MD
Year: 2005
Owner: General Services Administration
Location: Suitland, MD, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Custom
Size: 146000 sq.ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Private
Submitted by: John Shepley & Greenroofs.com

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Plant Supplier: Green Roof Plants/Emory Knoll Farms
Plant Installation: Chapel Valley
Architect: Morphosis/Einhorn Yaffee Prescott
Contractor: P.J. Dick Inc.
The new 208,000 gross square foot NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) consists of 140,000 square feet of adaptable open office space, a 60,000 sf satellite control and operation center, and underground parking for 286 cars. The facility contains the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, which manages the operational Earth-observing satellite systems of the United States. The architectural and engineering design for the complex incorporates many sustainability features. The facility is housed largely under one of the largest green roofs in the country, totaling 146,000 sf.

The office space is located partially underground and built into the existing slope on the site. This lowers thermal gain to the building by utilizing the insulating properties of the earth. Light wells, skylights, and court yards are distributed throughout the floor plan to ensure occupants have access to natural lighting. High performance filtration, UV lights are used to minimize airborne contaminants from entering air stream. Materials were selected to minimize off-gassing of VOCs. Full commissioning of the building systems was required in order to ensure correct operation and inter-system working. This minimizes problems during the move-in period from non-functioning systems while maximizing system efficiency (OFEE Issue 42).

The landscaped roof helped the NSOF, a 60,000 square foot building with 549 employees, receive the LEED Gold rating in early November 2007. "Only 20% of the site becomes impervious, elminating the need for a water detention pond or increased stormwater piping, while saving thousands of dollars," (GSA website, see below).
Paul Pegnato, NSOF project manager, says "The building is very unique. The architect had this vision of a sloping landscape. So when you start on the north side and are walking across the landscape, you're walking across the roof without even knowing it." (ItWorldCanada Green IT, 12.07)

LOW-SLOPE ROOFING : Bakor 790-11 hot-fluid-applied rubberized asphalt membrane with 25% post-consumer recycled content is the waterproofing layer for green roof and non-green roof areas.

Additional thumbnail photos:

The NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (Suitland, MD) is located at Suitland Federal Center, Suitland, Maryland. See the case study on the GSA website. Read the December 7, 2007 article "What works to cut data centre energy usage" by Carolyn Duffy Marsan in ItWorldCanada Green IT here, and the Winter-Spring 2007 Newsletter Issue 42 from the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive "Closing the Circle News" PDF. Read an in-depth case study from GreenSource by Nadav Malin here. Read about Emory Knoll Farms in The Greenroof Directory here.

Purchase "Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide," by Edmund C. Snodgrass and Lucie L. Snodgrass, 2006 from Timber Press, Portland, OR here.
 
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