Look for the 'NCTC is GREEN' logo throughout campus to identify specific sustainable practices. Not all are marked, but many are. Below is a sampling of the most notable efforts.
NCTC is Green Logo

Architectural Design and Construction

NCTC buildings are designed for permanence and low maintenance. The materials selection was deliberate, with preference given to locally harvested and sustainable, resulting in a palette of external materials consisting of steel, Pennsylvania fieldstone, and split-face concrete block. Several buildings are built with clerestory glass, which are high windows above eye level to bring outside light into the building. The roofs are terne-coated stainless steel. 

Much of the interior walls, such as window casings and classroom acoustic panels are trimmed in quarter-sawn red oak. Insulation is made of recovered materials; resilient flooring from recycled tires is used in high-impact and physical training areas; and drywall is high in recycled gypsum content. Woods, low-impact fabrics, and finishes were all selected for reduced off-gassing. And 75 percent of the steel used on the building envelope is recycled.

Passive Solar and Recycled Materials

Recycle Logo

NCTC was designed in the early 1990s to use passive solar, including window placement and glazing type, and thermal insulation. Building exteriors are constructed with overhangs that provide shading in the summer when the sun is high and more direct light in the winter.

The total height and layout of buildings were constructed to be no higher than adjacent trees and converge with the surrounding natural resources.

NCTC employs many green practices starting from the design and build of the infrastructure to the vast array of sustainability practices. This includes bulk/local/green source purchasing, commissioning of the HVAC system, paper-reduction efforts, lights off days, recycling, and materials reuse. Water faucets, toilets, shower heads and more are all low flow components. A master lighting system automates lighting controls throughout campus. Lighting sensors are located in staff and public areas to turn off lights for non-use during work hours.

Walking and hiking trails inner-connect the buildings for guest and staff access, yet allow quick detours to explore the 430 acres of non-public landscape.

Outdoor Sustainability Practices

Land Management Practices

NCTC Prescribed Burn

NCTC models the US Fish and Wildlife Service natural resource land management practices. With
years of agricultural use prior to the Services land acquisition, the efforts have evolved into creating a balance of grasslands, riparian, and wooded habitats.

Through prescribed burning, mowing, control invasive species, and reforestation efforts, NCTC is able to provide ample protection for native plants and wildlife.

The property supports three streams, nearly one mile of Potomac riverfront, one spring-fed pond and five storm water management ponds to provide important riparian and wetland habitat components to the NCTC landscape. The Potomac River is a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay and NCTC participates in the broad efforts of bay restoration.

Facility Management Practices

NCTC is a walking campus with parking areas on the outskirts of buildings, yet these lots offer premier parking spots for hybrid and motorcycles.

Environmental controls through integrated pest management and pesticide use permitting, alternative environmentally friendly magnesium chloride snow melt, and reduced energy transportation vehicles ensure the exterior environment is not impacted by the ongoing public use and access.

NCTC has approximately 30 vehicles for staff usage. Of this amount 40% are either smaller size utility, alternative fuel or hybrid.

Food Services

Local and Sustainably Harvested Sources

Food Services Local Sources

When possible, NCTC incorporates local and sustainable food products into the seasonal menus. Selection is based upon availability, cost, and general food safety practices.

NCTC offers draft beer produced by a local brewery to support the local economy and help reduce carbon footprint. The wines are from wineries applying sustainable management practices to both the vineyard management and wine production.

NCTC provides Starbucks organic, fair trade coffee. The used coffee grounds, over 3,000 gallons annually, are used for soil remediation and composting on the NCTC campus.

NCTC supports the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program as well as the Marine Stewardship Council Blue Label program.

Utensils – Biodegradable Cutlery, Reusable Dishware

Commons dining, where meals are prepared and served offers as a first choice re-usable dinnerware and napkins.

Takeout food and break service areas use recycled napkins and biodegradable cutlery and carryout containers.

Disposable products such as paper cups are made from high levels of recycled content.

Office Space

Bulk Purchasing

Many consumable products and supplies used throughout the campus are ordered in bulk to minimize work effort and the shipping carbon footprint. NCTC takes advantage of the large variety of recycled content, Energy Star, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products on the market.


Food Services Recycling

Recycling containers, paper reuse boxes, and battery drop bins are located in general staff and guest areas to maximize recycling opportunity.

NCTC recycles over 71 tons annually of office consumables, batteries, mixed glass/plastic/aluminum, raw materials, electronics, cardboard, light bulbs, oil, and food scraps.


Hospitality Guest Rooms and Classrooms

In an effort to continuously conserve energy, towels are not exchanged daily. Guests may place them in the bathtub for exchange.

Cleaning products used throughout NCTC are low in volatile organic compounds. Except where mandated, they are free of phosphorus and bleach.

The shades in classrooms and public areas are drawn in the evening to provide an additional barrier to the outside weather.

Faucets, shower heads, urinals, toilets, and hand dryers throughout the campus were upgraded in 2010 with American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds to meet LEED thresholds which saved 40% on water usage.

Operations and Maintenance

Energy Control Systems

The NCTC exterior and interior campus has a master lighting control system to automatically shutoff lights during non use hours. Occupancy sensors are installed in offices and public spaces to automatically turn off the lights during normal business hours.

Through the efforts of HVAC controls and a variety of practices, NCTC has reduced fuel oil and electricity by 15%.

Photovoltaic Panel

A photovoltaic panel was installed with American Resource and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds in 2010 to reduce the energy usage at the NCTC water treatment and waste water treatment plants. This provides 43KW of alternative power in full sun.

NCTC Photovoltaic Array