National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Environmental Security Computing Center

Project Information

The I-79 Technology Park Research Center is located on a 21-acre mountain top site in Fairmont, West Virginia.  It contains approximately 248,000 gross square feet, with a rentable area of 181,000 square feet consisting of office and dry lab space. A 583-car parking garage is attached to the main structure. The main building has five floors, with the lowest having a slab-to-slab height of 25 feet and the remaining floors 16 feet.  The bottom floor (Lower Level) is partially buried below grade. The garage is located next to it and is concealed from the main roadway by the remaining mountainside.

The project involved fitting the NOAA ESCC HDDC program into the Lower Level of the building. The Lower Level contains 22,452 square feet of high-bay space and 6,939 square feet of office/dry laboratory space. This Lower Level is the floor where the HDDC and associated spaces are located, with the major spaces to be situated within the former high bay lab space. A dedicated loading area is located on the east end of the building, with associated shipping and receiving spaces, conditioned storage, etc. in the vicinity.

ClientNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
LocationFairmont, WV
Size52,000 sf
LEEDSilver Certified
RoleArchitect of Record, Space Planner


KPN Architects was the Architect of Record involved in General Architecture other than HDDC-related spaces.  KPN was also responsible for overall coordination; design of structural / exterior / shell building construction required for HDDC, review of general submittals, Construction Administration, LEED NC submission for base building and LEED CI submission for improvements.

Energy Efficiency

 A number of unique energy-efficient strategies were used to pursue LEED certification, including:


  • A linear building floor plate with long elevations facing north and south to admit abundant natural light
  • Sunscreens provide efficient shading of the south-facing glazed area of the two-story Exhibition Hall
  • Careful glazing selections throughout provide high insulation values and low solar heat gain coefficients
  • Reflective roofing over the majority of the building, and a “green roof” over the parking deck
  • Integration of lighting control zones + HVAC zones to reduce “off-hour” energy use
  • CO2 monitoring of the general ventilation system to provide improved control over ventilation rates
  • 100% raised access floor at three floors of “soft” research areas and educational spaces, providing absolute flexibility in changing out furniture