The Chemical and Materials Sciences Building is a 160,000 square foot facility that provides modern laboratory and office space for ORNL researchers who are studying and developing materials and chemical processes for energy-related technologies, including advanced batteries and high-efficiency solar panels.
"This new building represents the Department of Energy's commitment to lead the U.S. toward a clean energy future by investing in scientific research and development," Former Office of Science Director William Brinkman commented.
The Chemical and Materials Science Building replaced an aging 1950s-era complex limited by high maintenance and energy costs and outdated laboratory spaces. The new three-story facility was designed and constructed to be Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED) Gold certified and meets strict guidelines for environmental sustainability set by the U.S. Green Buildings Council.
The building includes 56 laboratories that meet modern standards for safe and efficient operations, which were virtually impossible to attain in the old complex. The building design also provides 164 offices and 91 modular work stations, with an emphasis on more open, collaborative environments and flexibility to respond to future mission changes. It is home to two DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers—the Center for Fluid Interface Reaction Structure and Transport (FIRST) and the Center for Defect Physics (CDP)—and ORNL staff involved in a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, the Critical Materials Institute.
Construction of the $95 million facility began in June 2009, supported in part by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The construction contractor for the facility was McCarthy Building Companies; the architect-engineer was Cannon Design.