With its membership continuing to grow, Navy Federal Credit Union in Pensacola, Fla., added three new sustainable structures: A 150,000-square-foot call center; a 150,000-sqaure-foot administrative/office building, and a 1,143-vehicle parking deck/central energy plant. A fourth building, an additional call center that will house 1,200 staff members, is now under construction. Designed by Atlanta-based ASD Inc., the three-building addition received LEED Gold certification for all three components from the U.S. Green Building Council, and the call center in progress also is expected to achieve LEED Gold.


In structuring the interiors of the buildings, Navy Federal made a change in corporate culture, moving supervisors and managers out of private offices and into workstations. Doing so not only saved on construction costs, but also maximized daylight and outdoor views, simplified HVAC air distribution and lighting systems, and reduced walls, doors, and interior glazing.

In terms of energy use, the entire campus’ main electrical, emergency electrical, chilled water, and fire protection water is supplied from a central energy plant at the rear of the parking deck. This centralized plant is predicted to save significant energy and money as opposed to separate systems. Clustering more than 50 percent of the site’s parking in the new parking deck as opposed to a traditional parking lot reduced the overall head island effect and also provided covered walkways between buildings.

The design team used three lines of control to harvest daylight. On the exteriors of each building, which feature a mixture of zinc tiles from Rheinzink and masonry, sunscreens, thickened walls, full-height glass, and slivers of glass and translucent panels manipulate the Florida sun to leave heat energy outside while bouncing light indoors. A waffle system mounted above atrium skylights brings light in from above as well. As a result, the shell provides a minimum of 25 foot candles of natural light to 75 percent of occupied spaces. Motorized sunshades further control light and operate via a solar tracking system to rise and lower throughout the day. Inside, lighting controls are equipped with sensors that dim the light when appropriate. With these combined initiatives, lighting usage between the two buildings is running 0.6 watts/square foot on average.

Water conservation also was addressed by installing low-flow toilets and water-saving appliances and kitchen equipment. Thus far, one of the new buildings is reporting an average of 0.40 gallons used per person per day. Stormwater and condensate water is directed to two on-site ponds, where it can be stored for reuse in site irrigation.