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Brinkman dedicates new ORNL materials research facility

July 19, 2011 — William Brinkman, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, joined officials from DOE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Tuesday to dedicate a new Chemical and Materials Sciences Building.

The event celebrated the completion of 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," Brinkman said.

The Chemical and Materials Science Building replaces an aging 1950s-era complex limited by high maintenance and energy costs and outdated laboratory spaces. The new three-story facility has been 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.

"Our research staff members have been eagerly awaiting the completion of this state-of-the-art facility that provides forefront capabilities for tackling tough scientific challenges," said ORNL Director Thom Mason.

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 91modular 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).

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.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.