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DOE selects design-build team for laboratory focused on clean energy innovation

Laboratories

DOE selects design-build team for laboratory focused on clean energy innovation

JE Dunn Construction and SmithGroup will construct the 127,000-sf Energy Materials and Processing at Scale (EMAPS) clean energy laboratory in Colorado to create a direct path from lab-scale innovations to pilot-scale production.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | February 5, 2024
DOE selects design-build team for laboratory focused on clean energy innovation
EMAPS will enable materials and process innovations in energy storage, advanced manufacturing, grid modernization, and net-zero chemicals and fuels for transportation and industrial decarbonization. Rendering courtesy SmithGroup/JE Dunn

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected JE Dunn Construction and SmithGroup as the design-build team for a new laboratory facility that will accelerate market-ready products needed for a clean energy transition.

As the new face of NREL’s South Table Mountain Campus in Golden, Colo., the 127,000-sf Energy Materials and Processing at Scale (EMAPS) laboratory will create a direct path from lab-scale materials and process innovations to pilot-scale integration and production. The project is slated to break ground in late 2024. 

The laboratory’s design will provide opportunities for engineers, scientists, industry partners, and other DOE laboratories to work together in shared lab facilities focused on clean energy innovations. This collaborative, multidisciplinary approach will accelerate the process scale-up and market adoption of advanced energy materials. 

Energy storage, advanced manufacturing among clean energy initiatives

Specifically, EMAPS will enable materials and process innovations in energy storage, advanced manufacturing, grid modernization, and net-zero chemicals and fuels for transportation and industrial decarbonization. 

In addition, the laboratory will address end-of-life and circularity challenges across multiple energy technology platforms with a focus on polymers, packaging, and waste streams during and after production.

With building design now underway, EMAP will provide modern, open, and flexible spaces that can accommodate rapid experimentation among researchers. Featuring a three-story collaborative lab and office tower, the center will facilitate flexibility and reconfigurability to serve different research insights and needs. Researchers will be able to move easily from workstation computers to testing in labs to manufacturing testing in pilot bays.

The design will align with NREL’s focus on sustainability, solar orientation and daylighting, energy efficiency, and site preservation. With its sustainable, high-performance design, EMAPS will aim for a minimum of LEED Gold certification.

A decade ago, JE Dunn and SmithGroup partnered with NREL to complete the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), a 180,000-sf research building adjacent to the future site of EMAPS.

On the Building Team:
Owner: U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Design architect, architect of record, and MEP engineer: SmithGroup
Structural engineer: Martin/Martin
General contractor: JE Dunn Construction

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