Two QEA Projects receive LEED GOLD Certification from US Green Building Council: National Academy of Science Building & Robert S. Vance Courthouse 
 
National Academy of Science Building - Washington, DC 
The modernization of the National Academy of Science Headquarters was among the first projects to proceed under standards set by the DC Green Building Act of 2006. The Academy sought to exceed these standards, however, not only bringing the building into compliance with current guidelines for sustainability but creating a showcase for cutting-edge green building technology. Highlights within the LEED-Gold building include the first-ever interior use of building-integrated photovoltaics, a solar domestic hot water system, energy-efficient mechanical systems with digital controls, window upgrades, daylight harvesting, an efficient LED and florescent lighting with digital controls. New interior materials are low-VOC, locally produced where possible, and contain recycled content. Site strategies include previous paving, drip irrigation, and storm filters. 
 
The use of Building Information Modeling aided in the sustainable modernization of this historic structure, enabling engineers to integrate state-of-the-art systems carefully within the existing building. Lighting and shading studies supported the incorporation of the BIPVs into the skylights above the courtyards. The courtyard areas also feature innovative light shelves. In early 2014, the NAS headquarters was cited as one of the top ten privately owned office buildings in the city with the fewest greenhouse gas emissions, according to the DC Department of the Environment. 
 
Robert S. Vance U.S. Courthouse - Birmingham, Alabama 
As an ARRA-funded project, the Vance Courthouse was required to meet GSA's High Performance Green Building Standards; sustainability and energy conservation were major project objectives. The project was largely driven by the needs for a full building systems upgrade. A new efficient HVAC system was introduced and systems were integrated into the historic building, while maintaining over 95% of the historic fabric.The mechanical system contributed to the overall 30% energy cost reduction and 34% energy usage reduction over ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Use of daylight harvesting, blast film with a low solar heat-gain coefficient, and new roof insulation were also integral components to the added energy efficiency. 
 
QEA's integrated design approach incorporates solutions that serve multiple functions while providing cost effective solutions to the technical and architectural problems. For example, a 50,000 gallon cistern is integrated into the structural foundation of the sally port. The stormwater collected by the cistern is recycled for both toilet flushing and as make-up water for the cooling tower. The most significant feature of the renovation is the recreation of light monitors over what had originally been the postal sorting space. The monitors provide natural light into what now houses new courtrooms and chambers. The team also integrated locally sourced materials such as the red gum paneling from Alabama which accents the walnut trim and furnishings.