With the pending modernization of Wing 5 in the South Building, USDA renews its commitment to high performance buildings and sustainable design. The heating and cooling systems will provide greater thermal comfort than the existing systems. By using energy efficient light fixtures, sensors, and control systems, we will reduce the electricity required for lighting by 50%.
The project will use low flow plumbing fixtures which will reduce water consumption by 60%. Wherever practical, building materials will be reutilized, reconditioned, and/or recycled. To improve indoor air quality, only materials containing low to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will be incorporated, which includes such architectural finishes as low VOC paints and carpeting free of polyvinyl chlorides (PVCs). The U.S. Green Buildings Council recognizes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by certifying building renovations, as well as new building construction. Towards that end, the Department is working with a LEED Accredited Professional to attain the highest level of certification possible with target of LEED Silver in Commercial Interiors. LEED certified buildings are recognized as buildings which create a more productive, healthier work environment, as well as conserve energy. Such efforts comply with Executive Order 13423 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The modernization of Wing 5 is funded with $24 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
A construction contract was awarded to Grunley Construction Company of Rockville, Maryland. Construction began in October 2009. Upon completion in FY 2011, Wing 5 will house approximately 300 employees in a high performance work space that meets government-wide green initiatives, while complying with contemporary life safety codes and meeting historic preservation guidelines.