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Water Conservation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Published: October 22, 2007

Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As the state of Georgia continues to deal with a record-breaking Level IV drought, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building and Facilities Office has taken several steps to ensure the Agency is acting as responsible stewards of the environment.

"We have several conservation measures in place," said George Chandler, Director, Building and Facilities Office (BFO). "The reactive step we took during the drought was to shut off all landscape irrigation that use treated city water at the Roybal Campus, and we have turned off the fountain on our Chamblee campus."

In September 2007, the Agency stopped using city water for landscape irrigation and relied heavily upon captured storm water to maintain landscaping. "All landscape irrigation after September at Roybal or Chamblee is provided by storm water or condensation captured from heating, ventilation and cooling systems," said Chandler.

An onsite well is used to capture, recycle and pump storm water to the landscape area for irrigation on part of the Agency's Roybal Campus. This source also feeds the stream that flows behind Building 21. The other portion of campus is irrigated by a pond behind the west Central Utility Plant that is filled by storm water.

On the Agency's Chamblee campus, condensation from the heating, ventilation and cooling unit for Building 110 is trapped and contained in an underground cistern and used for landscape irrigation. Building 106, once complete, will incorporate landscaping designed to minimize water use in addition to other conservation features implemented into the design of the newer buildings.

Photo: Inactive fountain at the CDC

"All of the Agency's new buildings incorporate an innovative design that uses low-flow plumbing fixtures with sensor controls that use half the water as standard fixtures," said Darryl Wigington, mechanical engineer, BFO. "This design reduced water consumption in Building 21 by 36 percent."

Wigington said the Agency was ahead of the curve on conservation issues for the federal sector. Just over a year ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was one of 17 federal agencies to sign the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

By signing this MOU, HHS committed to leading the federal sector in sustainable development by reducing total ownership costs of facilities, improving energy and water conservation, providing safe, healthy and productive built environments, and promoting environmental stewardship.

To achieve the goals of the Sustainable Buildings MOU, HHS turned to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System for guidance. Several recent construction projects within HHS have been built according to the guidelines specified by the LEED Green Building Rating System, a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance, sustainable buildings.

CDC designed and constructed the first HHS building to receive LEED certification. Building 21, completed in 2005, received the LEED Silver rating for the extensive use of sustainable design principles and construction practices. Since 2005, Building 110 on the Chamblee Campus has received Gold LEED Certification, the first major Federal laboratory to achieve Gold status, and the application for Building 106 will be submitted once construction is complete.

The CDC Design and Construction Standards have been modified to call for all future projects to seek LEED certification, which will include water conservation measures.


Page last updated: October 22, 2007
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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