The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility in Manhattan was awarded for it’s efforts to be energy efficient and green.
Dr. Ken Burton, NBAF Deputy Director, tells KMAN that they received recognition from the Leadership of Energy and Environmental Design group after all the efforts put forth by the USDA to keep the facility efficient and safe. NBAF was awarded the gold level honor.
“What this means is that NBAF exceeded the expectations for sustainable development.”
Dr. Burton says for many years NBAF facilities have only attained the silver level achievement.
“NBAF is the first and only large-scale federal bio-containment laboratory facility in the United States to achieve LEED gold certification, so this is really a significant achievement.”
This achievement comes just as many employees are moving into their positions at NBAF. Due to construction and COVID, many employees and managers are seeing each other in person for the first time at the facilities.
Katie Pawlosky, Communications Director, says their construction and commissioning seems to be right on track, with construction being finished this spring and commissioning happening this summer. She adds that most of the construction left is in containment.
“On the positive side, with COVID numbers decreasing, the rest of our NBAF team who has not already been on-site performing duties, has been able to begin transitioning from telework into the actual workplace starting last week.”
Pawlosky says many of them have been able to move directly into their offices at NBAF. She says for her team who is full of extroverts, it has been amazing.
“It’s been really uplifting and exciting to see people and to have meetings again in-person. Some of these people I haven’t met before other than virtually, and others I haven’t seen in-person in more than two years.”
As they move into the facility there are many moving parts. This week and for the next few weeks their main focus is on the full fit out which is essentially moving in all the equipment and supplies that are not tied to the floor.
To learn more about NBAF, visit usda.gov/nbaf.