Greening EPA

National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL)

Photo of EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama.

71,656 gross square feet (GSF)
Personnel: 55

Energy Intensity:
FY 2015: 268,122 Btu per GSF
47.0% reduction from FY 2003 baseline

Water Intensity:
FY 2015: 57.96 gallons per GSF
35.8% reduction from FY 2007 baseline

Montgomery, Alabama

Located on Maxwell Air Force Base, NAREL provides radiological monitoring data to support rulemaking and radiological emergency response activities. The Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System is the only nationwide environmental radiation monitoring network in the United States. NAREL also supports Superfund and enforcement activities with laboratory and field measurements and technical assistance for radioactive and hazardous chemical (mixed waste) contaminants. The facility includes a state-of-the-art radioanalytical laboratory and office space.

Sustainable Features

  • Eight 4.5-kilowatt solar lighting fixtures in the facility’s back parking lot illuminate the space and making travel safer after dark. The lights are motion- and light-sensitive; they store the power needed to operate for approximately five days in two 100-amp batteries and reduce power to 50 percent when the lot is empty.
  • An air handler condensate recovery system collects about 800,000 gallons of water per year for the facility's cooling tower, which accounts for 65 percent of the facility's water use.
  • The laboratory has eliminated all forms of single-pass equipment cooling.
  • An infrastructure replacement project (IRP) includes new laboratory and office areas, as well as two new air handling units capable of providing heating, ventilation and air conditions for the entire main laboratory facility. It also includes a new exhaust fan sized to serve the main laboratory fume hoods. The IRP will ultimately reduce the number of fume hoods by 25 percent and save an estimated 2.7 billion British thermal units per year.
  • No landscape irrigation water is used at the laboratory, as grasses and shrubs are climate-appropriate and survive on natural rainfall.

For more information, visit the NAREL website or the EPA Facility Contact List.