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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

DOE PPPL Lyman Spitzer Building(124604)
100 Stellarator Road
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
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The Lyman Spitzer Building (LSB) is located at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and managed by Princeton University. The LSB is the Laboratory's main administration building, providing office space, workshops, meeting facilities, and computing support for more than half of PPPL's employees. The building also provides the main control room and computing center for operating PPPL's major fusion energy experiment, the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX).


In 2007, PPPL began using ENERGY STAR tools and Portfolio Manager to benchmark the energy performance of LSB. After determining the baseline energy performance of the building, PPPL began tracking its energy performance on a monthly basis. In 2008, the organization became an ENERGY STAR partner, solidifying its commitment to the ENERGY STAR program.


PPPL has placed major emphasis on improving its energy performance, including that of the LSB. A complete lighting retrofit project was completed to replace T12 bulbs with 32-watt T8 bulbs, which reduced overall lighting load by 20 percent. In addition, approximately 200 ceiling incandescent reflective floodlight bulbs were replaced with reflective floodlight compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which resulted in an 80 percent reduction in wattage while also significantly reducing lighting maintenance. A building automation system is used to turn off lighting and adjust building temperatures to reduce energy load during off hours. 

In addition to lighting energy reductions, the HVAC and water cooling systems were modified to improve overall efficiency. Direct-digitally controlled (DDC) controlled variable frequency drive fans and enthalpy economizer DDC programming were installed, which not only provided for increased energy efficiency but also improved indoor air quality and worker comfort. In 2008, PPPL replaced six 3-way pneumatically-controlled chilled water control valves with 2-way direct digital control modulating control valves. PPPL estimates that the valve replacement project will save as much as 475,000 kWh annually.


Each year, PPPL communicates its energy efficiency and sustainability efforts to employees through an annual Earth Day celebration. The Earth Day event is devoted to educating staff about how PPPL is making progress toward its environmental performance goals, its plans for further improvement, and how individual employees can help. PPPL recognizes specific employees who have contributed to its environmental performance improvement with "Green Machine" awards. In addition, the monthly Environment, Safety, and Health Newsletter features a "Sustainable PPPL" column in each issue. Finally, many of PPPL's staff members speak at professional conferences, public organizations, and schools to outline their efforts to save energy and protect the environment.


"While we are proud of the energy performance of the LSB, we will continue to look for additional opportunities to improve building operations using ENERGY STAR guidelines and qualified products to raise our rating. Future improvements may include LED lighting, enhanced ventilation monitoring and controls, and day-lighting control. These lessons and enhancements are being applied to other buildings on the laboratory campus, which may qualify for the ENERGY STAR in future years."

-- Robert Sheneman, Head, Material & Environmental Services, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Department of Energy or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Federal Building

Building Owner:*
Department of Energy

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2008 (81)
2010 (81)
2011 (80)
2014 (86)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 118959 sf

Year Constructed: 1982

Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Guaranteed Savings

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant