Sustainability was a driving force in the design of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Center for Climate & Weather Prediction. Given its mission, which includes environmental and energy conservation, NOAA wanted to ensure environmental and energy performance were addressed during the design phase. Thus, building owner Opus East collaborated with HOK to design a 285,000-square-foot office building with low impact on the environment.
HOK performed energy modeling to determine the building’s expected consumption rate. EPA’s Target Finder tool was also used in the overall strategy to establish superior energy performance goals. Target Finder projected the building’s energy use reduction and associated greenhouse gas emissions and costs, and the design rated at 81 (out of 100) in the tool.
With its expected small environmental footprint, the NOAA National Center for Climate & Weather Prediction will be well-integrated in its surroundings, which are adjacent to areas of existing woods and parkland.
A variety of design elements help make the building energy efficient. Daylighting, photoelectric dimming controls, occupancy sensors, and sun-shading devices will be employed to reduce energy costs significantly. The orientation of the building in a primarily north-south direction and the design of the facades will also minimize the use of energy for cooling in summer and heating in winter.
Architect of Record:
Opus East LLC
Design Rating / % Energy and CO₂ Reduction*:
81 / 32%
Design / Completion Date:
2008 / July 2009
Estimated Energy Use
Estimated Total Annual
Estimated Annual Energy Cost:
2-foot-deep sunshades on entire south elevation, controlled lighting systems with daylight and occupancy sensors.
For More Information:
Roger W. Schwabacher, AIA
*Percent Energy and CO₂ Reductions are compared with an average building of similar type.