Construction and Renovation

Any construction or renovation projects at NIH facilities must adhere to requirements set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies to incorporate environmental considerations in their planning and decision-making through a systematic interdisciplinary approach. Specifically, all federal agencies are to prepare detailed statements assessing the environmental impact of and alternatives to major federal actions significantly affecting the environment. These statements are commonly referred to as Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and Environmental Assessments (EA).

When renovating and constructing facilities, NIH must ensure that existing buildings and renovated spaces remain free of contaminants such as unhealthy building materials, hazardous chemicals, radioisotopes, and pathogens.  To protect human health and the environment, NIH works to assure compliance with statutes and regulations governing chemical substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  NIH minimizes potential release of TSCA-regulated substances such as mercury, lead-based paint, asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and works to remove TSCA materials from campus via the NIH decommissioning program.

Executive Orders (EOs) 13514 and 13693 requires Federal agencies to divert construction and demolition debris by 50% in FY 2015.  NIH actually diverted 92.2% of their construction and demolition debris by 2015.  The Pollution Prevention and Waste Reduction Section of the Sustainability pages include more information on construction and demolition diversion.

The NIH target mandated by EO 13693 is by 2025, 15% of the total gross square footage of existing buildings larger than 5,000 square feet will comply with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings.  Additional information on the construction of sustainable building can be found in the Sustainable Buildings Section.

When constructing and renovating buildings at NIH facilities the following must also be considered: