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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Begins Work on Recovery Act-Funded Research Facility

Officials of the Department of Energy and UT-Battelle broke ground Wednesday on a $95 million Chemical and Materials Sciences facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Officials of the Department of Energy and UT-Battelle broke ground Wednesday on a $95 million Chemical and Materials Sciences facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Construction of the new laboratory facility is supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enacted by Congress earlier this year.
 
With a name reflecting its mission, the Chemical and Materials Sciences Building will provide up to 160,000 square feet of laboratory and office space that will be used to design new materials for energy-related products such as batteries and solar panels.
 
“We have challenged our national laboratories to come up with innovative ways to replace our outdated energy practices with clean and renewable technologies,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “We are giving the scientists and researchers at these facilities the tools to develop a clean energy economy that creates jobs and helps combat climate change.”
 
The $60.6 million in Recovery Act funding for the facility is part of an initial $1.2 billion for projects supported by the DOE Office of Science announced by Secretary Chu in March.
The new funding means that the Chemical and Materials Sciences facility will be completed in 2011, nearly a year ahead of the original schedule. Approximately 120-150 workers will be onsite daily during construction peak.
 
ORNL Director Thom Mason said that a number of energy technology challenges involve materials. “This new facility will be the ideal place to help the Department of Energy solve some of the most important energy challenges of the next decade,” Mason said.
 
The three-story Chemical and Materials Sciences Building will feature 50 laboratories supported by 164 offices and 120 work stations. The building will be LEED-Gold certified, meaning it meets strict standards set by the Green Buildings Council for environmental sustainability.
 
The new facility will provide space for up to 300 laboratory researchers and staff. It replaces laboratory and office space constructed in the early 1950’s that is plagued with high energy and maintenance costs.
 
The construction contractor for the new building is McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. The architectural and engineering firm is Cannon Design.
 
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory