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Sustainability Program

Center for Nanoscale Materials

A LEED Silver Building

The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) is a multifunctional and multidisciplinary research facility that was built to support all stages of scientific research and development at the nano scale.


Water savings and management

Sixty percent of landscaping on site was planted with native drought-tolerant and deep-rooted plants, with turf grasses planted in remaining areas. The whole landscape requires no fertilizers or permanent irrigation system; on-site maintenance inspections were undertaken to control invasive species until the landscape became self-sufficient.

Inside the building, water savings initiatives include washroom fixtures with low flow rates. They’ve resulted in a water reduction of 32.9%, compared to the baseline.

Sustainable Transportation

A number of features were incorporated to encourage alternative forms of transportation. First, the building is equipped with bike storage and showers with change room facilities to accommodate bicycle commuting. Second, bike commuting is complemented by Argonne’s on-campus bike share program, which offers 120 bicycles to use throughout the cam.

Heat recovery

Heat from the campus process cooling water systems (used to cool research and lab equipment) is recovered and used to heat interior spaces. Argonne has trended the data from this system and determined the heat recovery features reduce the heat energy requirements by 55% over a system without heat recovery. In addition, all major HVAC exhaust sources in the building were installed with heat recovery systems.