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Awards for the Research Support Facility

NREL's Research Support Facility (RSF) has been honored with 40 prestigious awards for being a showcase for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

The awards have been presented in these categories:

Architectural Awards

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado

2010 Citation Award for Built Architecture
The AIA 2010 Citation Award for Built Architecture went to the RSF for design excellence.

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Denver

2011 Citation Award for Built Architecture
The AIA 2011 Citation Award for Built Architecture went to the RSF for design excellence.

AIA (National)

AIA/Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects Awards
RNL received a 2011 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Award for the RSF. The AIA COTE Top Ten Projects program celebrates projects that exemplify sustainable design solutions arrived at through an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology.

American Society of Landscape Architects

Colorado Chapter — Honor Award, Design Category
The RSF received the Honor Award in the design category with a Land Stewardship designation from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Colorado Chapter. The award recognizes constructed, site-specific works of landscape architectural design. The RSF was the only Honor Award recipient to receive the Land Stewardship designation, which honors land stewardship and sustainability efforts.

Brilliance Awards

RNL received two Brilliance Awards for the RSF lighting.

  • Honor Award, Large Scale Commercial
  • Honor Award, Exterior/Landscape

The Brilliance Awards is a non-profit award ceremony currently held in Denver by the local sections of the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Designers Lighting Forum and the Illuminating Engineering Society.

International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

Rocky Mountain Chapter – BEST Award
The RSF Information Commons won 2 BESTAwards in 2013:

  • Serve — under 50,000 ft2
  • People's Choice

The RSF received a BEST Award from the IIDA in the "Serve Government" category. The award recognizes interior design projects that go beyond a pretty picture and truly encompass Brilliantly Executed Spaces and Thinking.


2012 Excellence in Design
The RSF won an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Energy Management Award by RoofPoint, a voluntary, consensus-based green rating system developed by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing to provide a means for building owners and designers to select non-residential roof systems based on long-term energy and environmental benefits.

Construction Awards

American Concrete Institute (ACI), Rocky Mountain Chapter

Award of Excellence for Green Construction
NREL received this award for excellence in green construction of RSF Phase I and Phase II.

Associated General Contractors (AGC)

  • AGC of Colorado Awards for Construction Excellence (ACE)

    • 2010 — 1st Place for Colorado Sustainable Project of the Year
    • 2010 — 1st Place for Project of the Year: $2-$6 million, subcontractor category
    • 2010 — 2nd Place for Project of the Year: $6-$10 million, subcontractor category
    • 2012 — Bronze Award for Meeting the Challenge of a Difficult Job, subcontractor category
  • AGC of America

    AON Build America Award
    The RSF received a 2011 National Aon Build America Merit Award in the design-build category. The award honors AGC members who build the nation's most impressive construction projects.

American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)

2011 IDEAS2 Award
RSF was honored with a 2011 IDEAS2 national award for innovative design in engineering and architecture with structural steel. The RSF was selected for its aesthetic and visual impact, application of innovative design approaches, innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel, and creativity in the combination of structural steel elements with other materials.

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Rocky Mountain Region

Best Project in the Public Sector
DBIA awarded the RSF the 1st Place award for the best project in the public sector over $15 million in 2010. The award recognizes the advanced and innovative application of integrated project delivery and finding unique solutions for project challenges.

Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), National

  • Merit Award
  • Citation for Sustainability Award in the Design Excellence Category
  • Distinguished Design-Build Leadership Award, Owner — Karen Leitner

Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC)

National Award of Excellence in Green Construction
Weifeld Group Contracting received an IEC 2010 National Award of Excellence in Green Construction for its work on the RSF.

McGraw-Hill Construction

Outstanding Green Building, 2010
McGraw-Hill Construction recognized the RSF as the nation's Outstanding Green Building in 2010. This award is part of McGraw-Hill's "Best of the Best" awards. The RSF was singled out for being designed as an ultra-efficient building and for being a "living green laboratory."

Mountain States Construction (MSC)

Gold Hard Hat Award
MSC presented the RSF with a Gold Hard Hat Award for being one of the best projects of the year (2010) in the green building category.

Special Judges Award
MSC recognized the RSF with a Special Judges Award in 2010 for outstanding community contribution.

Best Project Award
The RSF A Wing project won a Best Project Award in 2012 for the specialty contracting category.

Engineering Awards

American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), California

Engineering Excellence Honor Award
The RSF and Stantec received a 2011 Engineering Excellence Grand Award from ACEC — one of only eight projects nationwide to receive this top honor for design excellence.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

2013 Technology Award
The Technology Award recognizes achievements by ASHRAE members who have successfully applied innovative building design.

Engineering News Record (ENR)

2011 Award of Excellence
Jeff Baker, DOE Director of Laboratory Operations in the Golden Field Office, received a 2011 Award of Excellence from ENR for being a "conservation crusader." The award honors Baker for being a visionary leader in sustainable design and construction with the development of the RSF. For more information, see the ENR article.

2010 Newsmaker Award
Jeff Baker, DOE Director of Laboratory Operations in the Golden Field Office, received a 2010 ENR Newsmaker award. The award recognizes Baker's success at inspiring the team that developed a design-build project delivery model for fast-tracked, ultra-green commercial buildings.

DOE Awards

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Environmental Sustainability (EStar)
NREL received a DOE EStar Award for its sustainability efforts for Building the Sustainable Campus of the Future, nominated under the "Living Laboratory" category. The award recognizes NREL's leadership in helping the nation meet the growing demand for clean energy, featuring the RSF.

Secretary's Achievement Award
The RSF received a Secretary's Achievement Award and was one of was one of several projects recognized by DOE for projects completed in 2011. It is awarded annually to management teams that have demonstrated exceptional results in completing a project within cost and schedule. The RSF project was recommended for this award by the Office of Engineering and Construction Management that oversees all of DOE's construction projects. It provides validation that the fast track, performance-based, design-build methods used by NREL is considered sound and exceptional by the highest levels of DOE.

Technical Excellence Award
NREL's cross-functional team that designed and built the RSF data center received a Technical Excellence Award presented at DOE's 2012 Information Management Conference.

Sustainability and Environmental Awards

Colorado Biz Magazine

Colorado Sustainability Award
The RSF was selected for the 2010 1st Place award in the Civic Category for having an outstanding commercial property design that exceeds established energy efficiency and carbon guidelines.

Colorado Department of Public Health

Achievement Award, Bronze
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in cooperation with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and the Colorado Environmental Partnership, presented the RSF with a Bronze-level Environmental Leadership Award for outstanding environmental achievements. The RSF was chosen for going above and beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and for its numerous sustainability features, namely its water, waste, and energy reductions.

Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES)

Institutional Building Award
The RSF was honored by CRES in the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Design in Buildings Awards competition with the Institutional Buildings award. The award recognizes organizations' contributions to Colorado's growing renewable energy economy.

White House Council on Environmental Quality

GreenGov Presidential Award — Green Innovation
The RSF data center won the 2011 GreenGov — Green Innovation Award for using climate as a natural coolant, capturing waste heat to ventilate in the cooler months, and employing advanced equipment to minimize energy usage. Due to these efforts and employee education, the data center is expected to save $200,000 annually in electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 million pounds per year.

Other Awards

Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate Expo

Project of the Year, Office Building
The RSF received the Project of the Year Award, Office Building from the Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate Expo. Judging was based on architectural design, site planning, overall creativity, and impact on the community.

Partnership for Public Service

Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (SAMMY)
Jeff Baker, DOE Director of Laboratory Operations in the Golden Field Office, received the Science and Environmental Medal for his leadership in the design and construction of the RSF. This award recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the United States in activities related to science and the environment.

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

Gold Quill Award
Haselden Construction received a 2011 IABC Gold Quill Merit Award for Media Relations. The Gold Quill Award is IABC's global awards competition recognizing outstanding achievement in communication.