This facility serves as the primary means of gathering weather data in the northeast region of the United States. Building features include a 1,026-ft2 operations room, 978 ft2 of administrative space, a 600-ft2 equipment room, 725 ft2 of storage space, a kitchen area, a computer and technical room, locker and toilet facilities, and an Upper Air Deployment and Tracking tower.
Balloons launched from the deployment tower every 12 hours relay weather information back to the operations room, where data is monitored and processed into national and global databases. The facility will also provide for in-house technical support spaces that allow for training as well as repair to local and remote tracking equipment.
Completed in October 2002, the new Weather Forecast Office in Caribou, Maine was designed to minimize environmental impacts and maximize resource and operational efficiency. Half of the building materials were recycled or locally harvested. Moreover, nearly all of the total project waste was salvaged or recycled. Low-VOC paint and sealants, operable windows, and daylighting were used to create a healthy and comfortable workplace. Energy conservation measures, such as geothermal heating and cooling and high-efficiency lighting, result in 30% less energy use than a typical Weather Forecast Office.