flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Check out the stunning research facility just named 2014 Lab of the Year [slideshow]

Check out the stunning research facility just named 2014 Lab of the Year [slideshow]

NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility takes top honors in R&D Magazine's 48th annual lab design awards. 


By SmithGroupJJR | April 2, 2014
ESIF merges three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workpla
ESIF merges three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workplace that consumes 74% less energy than the nation

One of the nation’s newest and most premier energy research facilities has been named R&D Magazine’s 2014 Laboratory of the Year.

Designed and built by SmithGroupJJR and JE Dunn Construction, the $135 million Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Its one-of-a-kind design will assist NREL, and its partners, to shape the energy systems of the future.

The prestigious and international Lab of the Year competition, which is in its 48th year, recognizes the best new and renovated laboratories that combine all aspects of the building into a superior working environment. It showcases new and emerging thinking, sustainable practices and creative responses to challenges in the design, construction and operation of modern laboratories.

ESIF received this significant award for being a first-of-its-kind 182,500 sf research user facility with a unique merging of three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workplace that consumes 74% less energy than the national average for office buildings, one of the world’s most energy efficient high performance computing data centers, and sophisticated high-bay laboratory spaces with outdoor test areas.

 

 

All of the labs are connected by a research electrical distri­bution bus (REDB), which functions as a power integra­tion circuit capable of connecting multiple sources of energy with experiments.

The unique design of the facility, which houses 200 researchers, works in tandem to advance NREL’s sustainable mission of integrating clean and sustainable energy technologies into the grid.

“To have the ESIF facility, which advances research capabilities that don’t exist anywhere else in the world, recognized for such a prestigious award only proves the hard work and dedication of the project team,“ states Brad Woodman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president and director of SmithGroupJJR’s Phoenix office. “Congratulations to the entire ESIF team for a job well done on a project that will change the future of energy thought and use worldwide.”

 

Responsive Design

A showcase of sustainable design, the ESIF incorporates the best in energy efficiency, environmental performance, and advanced controls using a “whole building” integrated design approach that complies with Energy Star standards.

SmithGroupJJR and JE Dunn worked together to support the Department of Energy’s goal to develop an energy efficient building that imparts minimal impact on the environment. The ESIF earned a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, and is one of the highest certified facilities of its type to include a high performance computing data center as a major building component.

 

 

To construct such a unique facility the design-build team applied technology, like real time electronic drawings accessible through portable kiosks and hand held tablets allowing for a 100% paperless process, to deliver the project in a highly collaborative and accelerated pace while maintaining the strictest standards of quality and sustainable strategies. The building was dedicated in September 2013.

“Our team was continually challenged and encouraged to think outside the box which lead to this tremendous outcome,” shares Rodd Merchant, senior vice president at JE Dunn Construction and manager of the design-build team. “This award serves as an acknowledgement that hard work pays off.”

 

Unique Capabilities

Central to the laboratories is the REDB, the nation’s first integrated, megawatt-scale hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulation system. The REDB allows researchers and manufacturers to conduct integration tests at full power and actual load levels in real-time simulation, and evaluate component and system performance before going to market.

Running parallel with the REDB is the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that monitors and controls facility-based processes and gathers and disseminates real time data for collaboration and visualization. Both systems were engineered by Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI).

 

 

A petascale high performance computing data and visualization center extends the ESIF’s research capabilities and enables large-scale modeling and simulation of material properties, processes, and fully integrated systems that would be cost-prohibitive to study by direct experimentation. 

SmithGroupJJR, a recognized leader in architecture, engineering, and planning, served as designer, lab planner and engineer of the three-story research complex. The firm also received a Lab of the Year Special Mention in 2008 for their work on NREL’s Science & Technology Facility. JE Dunn Construction performed as general contractor for the design-build venture. AEI engineered the high bay laboratory spaces and the REDB and SCADA systems.

Judging for this year’s competition was performed by an expert panel of architects, engineers, equipment suppliers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine, Laboratory Design newsletter, and co-sponsor Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association (SEFA).

Awards for the Laboratory of the Year competition will be presented at the 2014 Laboratory Design Conference on April 3, at the Westin Waltham Boston Hotel in Massachusetts.

 

 

About the Team
SmithGroupJJR (www.smithgroupjjr.com) is ranked as one of the nation’s top design firms by Architect, the magazine of the American Institute of Architects. The firm’s nationally recognized Science & Technology Practice has completed the planning and design of over 18 million square feet of academic, corporate and government research laboratories across the U.S., ranging from small laboratory renovations to large research campuses. A national leader in sustainable design, SmithGroupJJR has 351 LEED professionals and 102 LEED certified projects.

JE Dunn Construction (www.jedunn.com) maintains local offices in Denver and Colorado Springs, providing quality construction throughout the Rocky Mountains. JE Dunn Construction Company is the 12th largest domestic building contractor in the United States with 20 offices in 14 states. With more than 61 LEED professionals in Colorado and more than 100 LEED certified projects around the country, JE Dunn is a nationally ranked sustainable contractor.

Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (www.aeieng.com) is a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firm specializing in technically complex projects nationally and internationally in the research, healthcare, energy and utilities, industrial, and sustainability markets. Building Design + Construction magazine’s #1 Science & Technology Engineering Firm, AEI has received five R&D Magazine Laboratory of the Year Awards, including three of the last four and eight other LOY honors.  With 157 LEED-certified professionals in twelve offices, AEI has designed and engineered 147 LEED-accredited projects.

Related Stories

Education Facilities | Nov 30, 2022

10 ways to achieve therapeutic learning environments

Today’s school should be much more than a place to learn—it should be a nurturing setting that celebrates achievements and responds to the challenges of many different users.

K-12 Schools | Nov 30, 2022

School districts are prioritizing federal funds for air filtration, HVAC upgrades

U.S. school districts are widely planning to use funds from last year’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to upgrade or improve air filtration and heating/cooling systems, according to a report from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. The report, “School Facilities Funding in the Pandemic,” says air filtration and HVAC upgrades are the top facility improvement choice for the 5,004 school districts included in the analysis.

Architects | Nov 29, 2022

Three decades and counting, Tinkelman Architecture has helped reshape New York’s Hudson Valley

The full-service firm has designed more than 100 projects in this region, including several multifamily buildings currently in the works

Retail Centers | Nov 29, 2022

'Social' tenants play a vital role in the health of the retail center market

After a long Covid-induced period when the public avoided large gatherings, owners of malls and retail lifestyle centers are increasingly focused on attracting tenants that provide opportunities for socialization. Pent-up demand for experiences involving gatherings of people is fueling renovations and redesigns of large retail developments.

Giants 400 | Nov 28, 2022

Top 200 Office Sector Architecture and AE Firms for 2022

Gensler, Perkins and Will, Stantec, and HOK top the ranking of the nation's largest office sector architecture and architecture/engineering (AE) firms for 2022, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report. 

Legislation | Nov 23, 2022

7 ways the Inflation Reduction Act will impact the building sector

HOK’s Anica Landreneau and Stephanie Miller and Smart Surfaces Coalition’s Greg Kats reveal multiple ways the IRA will benefit the built environment. 

Multifamily Housing | Nov 22, 2022

10 compelling multifamily developments debut in 2022

A smart home tech-focused apartment complex in North Phoenix, Ariz., and a factory conversion to lofts in St. Louis highlight the notable multifamily developments to debut recently.

BIM and Information Technology | Nov 21, 2022

An inside look at the airport industry's plan to develop a digital twin guidebook

Zoë Fisher, AIA explores how design strategies are changing the way we deliver and design projects in the post-pandemic world.

Healthcare Facilities | Nov 17, 2022

Repetitive, hotel-like design gives wings to rehab hospital chain’s rapid growth

The prototype design for Everest Rehabilitation Hospitals had to be universal enough so it could be replicated to accommodate Everest’s expansion strategy.

Industrial Facilities | Nov 16, 2022

Industrial building sector construction, while healthy, might also be flattening

For all the hoopla about the ecommerce boom and “last mile” order fulfillment driving demand for more warehouse and manufacturing space, construction of industrial buildings actually declined over the past five years, albeit marginally by 2.1% to $27.3 billion in 2022, according to estimates by IBIS World. Still, construction in this sector remains buzzy.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


K-12 Schools

School districts are prioritizing federal funds for air filtration, HVAC upgrades

U.S. school districts are widely planning to use funds from last year’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to upgrade or improve air filtration and heating/cooling systems, according to a report from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. The report, “School Facilities Funding in the Pandemic,” says air filtration and HVAC upgrades are the top facility improvement choice for the 5,004 school districts included in the analysis.



halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: