National Archives Goes Greener with Energy Retrofits and Environmentally Friendly Initiatives
Press Release · Thursday, August 18, 2011

Washington, DC

From ground floors to rooftops, the National Archives is greener than ever!

The National Archives is getting greener and greener with sustainable infrastructure and operational upgrades. Awarded the White House “Lean, Clean and Green Award” in 2010, the National Archives was designated one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly places to work in the United States. Not resting on its laurels, the National Archives continues its commitment to environmental sustainability with a series of new initiatives nationwide.

“The National Archives is committed to maintaining and improving National Archives facilities nationwide at the highest sustainability and performance levels possible. We hope to become a model for other federal agencies that want to go green and enhance their own performance,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.

As part of this greening trend, the National Archives at College Park has made the following environmentally friendly changes:

  • The roof of an administrative building has been retrofitted with a new environmentally friendly roof comprised of thermoplastic (TPO) single-ply membrane. TPO is produced in 12’ wide sheets and hot-welded together to cover the entire roof area. TPO is white, and thus is called a “white” or “cool” roof. White roofs coupled with an insulating layer can reduce building cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. The installation of an additional 25 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic cells on this roof will boost total capacity to 128 kilowatts.
  • The Research Complex roof also will be retrofitted with a TPO “white” roof. One section of this roof will be a “green roof” - an energy saving design that is actually a vegetated roof cover, with growing plants covering the TPO membrane. Green roofs offer advantages including storm water management, reduced heat stress and visual appeal. Another 20 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on this roof, boosting capacity to 148 kilowatts.
  • All 35 street lights and bollard lights (short, post-like light fixtures) have been replaced with new energy efficient LED lights.

Additional green initiatives at National Archives facilities nationwide include:

  • The National Archives Building in Washington, DC, has completed an Energy Savings Performance contract containing five energy conservation measures. These new initiatives are projected to save $1.3 million annually, including the installation of high efficiency boilers and three 75KW cogeneration units.
  • The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan,will receive new white roofs. One has already been done.
  • The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, was the first Federal building certified Platinum by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Program – LEED’s highest green building rating.
  • The George W. Bush Presidential Library in Lewisville, Texas, is being designed and constructed to LEED Platinum green building certification.

The National Archives Product Development office continues to reduce its carbon footprint with green improvements, while saving the National Archives over $205,000 in FY 2011 alone through design and printing/production efficiencies including:

  • Paper used for printed products is acid free and 15% to 30% recycled and/or post consumer waste.
  • National Archives stationery now is manufactured at a plant that is 100% wind powered.
  • Stock used is 40% to 70% recycled, acid free, and meets all archival quality and longevity standards.
  • The new Visitor’s Guide to the National Archives Building in Washington, DC incorporates a map and utilizes a dual-stepped fold – thus eliminating the need for the former map guide printing. This change has saved $40,000 in printing costs and half a million sheets of paper.
  • The National Archives also matches printers to delivery location, saving on delivery distance, time, and fuel – thus lowering the carbon footprint of the project.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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