A $64.2 million contract has been
awarded to a Houston-based partnership to design and build a new energy
sciences building at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
Construction could start later this
year or in early 2020 on the building that will be between 110,000 and 145,000
square feet. It will house labs and workstations for about 175 PNNL and
visiting scientists, engineers and research support staff conducting research
that leads to improved catalysts, and more efficient energy and transportation
technologies, according to a news release from PNNL.
The new building is expected to open
The facility will be designed and
constructed by Harvey Cleary Builders and Kirksey
Architecture. Harvey Cleary Builders was the general construction contractor
for a $75 million biological and computational sciences facility built on the
Department of Energy’s PNNL campus in 2008-09.
The building, which will be named
later, is expected to tap local construction subcontractors and suppliers, PNNL
The building will be ready for
occupancy in mid- or late 2021.
In March 2018, Congress approved
funding for the building’s design and construction. The state of Washington
also has appropriated $8 million to fund scientific instrumentation that will
be housed in the facility.
“The energy sciences facility will
provide essential capabilities and a collaborative environment that leads to
accelerated scientific discovery,” said PNNL Director Steven Ashby in a news
release. “Breakthrough research conducted here may lead to reduced vehicle
emissions, more efficient fertilizer production, and the ability to turn waste
into fuels and products more efficiently and economically.”
Ashby said the building will be
designed to enhance regional research collaborations, including those with the
University of Washington and Washington State University.
The process to select a design
architect and builder began in May 2018 when a request for proposal was issued
for design and construction firms to bid on the project. Finalists were named
in late July and proposals were submitted in October. Interviews were
conducted in late 2018 as part of the selection process.
Work in the energy sciences facility
will focus on fundamental research in advanced chemistry, materials science and
computing. Researchers will use their findings to develop more energy efficient
chemical processes and new materials for use in energy and transportation technologies,
among other innovations.
The energy sciences facility is part
of an ongoing campus strategy to construct, acquire, modernize and sustain
facilities and infrastructure to further enable core research and development
capabilities at PNNL.
As part of this strategy, PNNL
• The systems engineering building,
which houses control rooms, testing platforms and laboratories used to address
grid modernization, buildings efficiency, renewable energy integration and
other energy challenges.
• A 16,000-square-foot general purpose chemistry
laboratory to support a variety of programs and research.
• A 26,000-square-foot engineering and
analysis building that houses more than 100 PNNL staff initially engaged in
energy and national security research.
• Discovery Hall, a science and
technology collaboration event center that opened in April 2018.
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