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Greening EPA

Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center (AWBERC)

Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center

430,447 gross square feet (GSF)

Energy Intensity:
FY 2019: 219,257 Btu per GSF
42.5% reduction from FY 2003

Water Intensity:
FY 2019: 37.34 gallons per GSF
39.5% reduction from FY 2007

Cincinnati, Ohio

This 22-acre complex is EPA’s second largest research and development facility and is internationally recognized for water research, bioremediation and pollution prevention. In addition to AWBERC, EPA's Cincinnati facilities include the following:

Sustainable Features

  • The Main Building and Annex I have been certified to meet the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings.
  • A multi-year infrastructure replacement project (IRP) replaced mechanical systems, controls and equipment that was more than 30 years old with modern, more efficient models, including:
    • More efficient fans, pump and motors
    • New 600-ton chiller and sequence of operations for the chiller plant controls
    • Variable air volume technology, which is more efficient than constant volume
    • Separating laboratories from offices and replacing one-pass air in offices with recirculated air
    • A heat recovery system that recaptures heating and cooling energy from the exhaust system and uses it to pre-heat or pre-cool the incoming air
    • High-performance fume hoods that can be operated at lower air flows and hibernated when not in use
    • Automatic sash closures on all high-performance fume hoods that reduce air flow—and energy use—when the hood is unoccupied
    • Commissioning of the laboratory ventilation system and rebalancing the air distribution systems
    • Transition from cooling towers to a free cooling system for process cooling
    • An upgrade of parking lot lighting equipment with more energy-efficient technology
    • Occupancy sensors that control lights and space temperatures
  • AWBERC replaced a single-pass water-cooled ice machine with one that saves 300,000 gallons of water per year.
  • Restroom fixtures were replaced with models that save about 210,000 gallons of water per year.
  • A stormwater management master plan is the framework for EPA stormwater improvements.

For more information, visit the Cincinnati Office of Administration and Resources Management website or the EPA Facility Contact List.