The Woods Hole Research Center's mission in “environmental science, policy, and education for a habitable Earth” means it's important to practice what we preach. A key part of doing that is our very green headquarters—the Center's Gilman Ordway Campus—on Cape Cod. Designed by the noted green architect Bill McDonough, this state-of-the-art scientific research and office facility demonstrates the successful integration of energy- and resource-conserving design, a ground-source heating and cooling system, and a robust renewable-energy supply. The facility was designed with the express goal of being a zero net-energy building (achieving CO2-neutral operation) and has been instrumented with a whole-facility monitoring system that provides the basis for an on-line educational display system and long-term study of energy performance.

The 1793 m2 (19,300ft2) facility used 50.7 kWh of electricity per m2 from March 2004–February 2005 of which 16.9 kWh/m2 or 33% was supplied by the rooftop photovoltaic system. Electricity is the only externally supplied source of energy. The incorporation of a 100kW wind turbine now on order will provide the remaining balance of the power used by the facility and a surplus for export to the grid.

The building has won numerous awards including selection as one of the American Institute of Architects' 2004 Top Ten Green Projects and a first prize in the 2004 Northeast Green Building Awards, and it is listed in the DOE High Performance Buildings Database.

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