The $11.8 million, 16,600-square-foot facility will be devoted to the research and development of energy-efficient building products, including HVAC and exterior building envelope materials, components and systems. This project follows McCarthy’s construction of the Chemical and Materials Sciences Building completed this past summer. The ORNL campus is managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.
“MAXLAB is the next step in our commitment to building energy efficiency research,” said Jimmy Stone, ORNL’s director of facilities and operations. “Updated facilities will enable us to stay in the forefront of our field, and we have the team in place to do this effectively.”
Construction of the new MAXLAB facility is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is scheduled for a November 2012 completion. McCarthy is serving as construction manager-at-risk for the project along with a separate utilities upgrade project to provide mechanical and electrical services for the new lab.
“We are extremely pleased to be continuing our relationship with ORNL on the MAXLAB project and the concurrent 3000 Area Utilities project, which supports the new lab,” said McCarthy Project Director Larry VanHouten. “The purpose of this particular project certainly resonates with our builders as we are continually searching for ways to improve our processes and materials to produce better results for our clients. The research conducted in this facility will be very important to our company and the entire building industry moving forward, and we are excited to be a part of it.”
MAXLAB will be located at the corner of Bethel Valley Road and 5th Street, east of the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center (BTRIC) whose staff will utilize the new facilities. The lab will house high bay facilities with an overhead crane for envelope system research, low bay facilities for HVAC system research, a data center and offices. The project is targeting a LEED® Gold certification through the United States Green Building Council.
VanHouten continued,“We recently completed the Chemical and Materials Sciences Building on the ORNL campus. Since the MAXLAB is located only a block away from this previous project, we have been able to leverage this successful experience and local knowledge to streamline and enhance communication and collaboration, improving efficiencies for the whole team. Our continued focus on schedule, quality and safety on the MAXLAB project will allow McCarthy and ORNL to achieve the mutual goal of producing an exceptional research facility.”
Included with the lab facility will be two light commercial building “flexible research platforms.” These platforms allow for a fairly simple means to change just about anything about the “test buildings” to facilitate the study of building energy efficiency concepts. One research platform will be a 1,600-square-foot footprint, 3,200-square-foot, two-story facility with a low-sloped roof. The second research platform will be a 2,400-square-foot, one-story building with a sloped roof. The two research platforms will have data connections back to the data center within the main MAXLAB research building and sit on insulated concrete foundations that include in-slab heating/cooling loops, which will enable research equipment to control the temperature of the working fluid circulating in the loops in order to eliminate heat transfer between the ground and the test buildings during experiments.
Finalization of concept design, design and construction documents and construction administration are provided by Cannon Design of St. Louis. Other contributors to the project design include civil engineer Fulghum MacIndoe & Associates, Inc. and landscape architect Hedstrom Design, both of Knoxville, Tenn. McCarthy is utilizing local tradespeople for construction and is self-performing the concrete foundation and general works scope.
About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (ornl.gov) is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) (energy.gov) largest science and energy laboratory. Managed since April 2000 by a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle, ORNL has a staff of more than 4,400 and annual funding exceeds $1.4 billion. The laboratory is home to the Spallation Neutron Source, the world’s most powerful neutron source for materials research; and Jaguar, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. ORNL supports the DOE’s mission with expertise in six major scientific areas: neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology, materials science at the nanoscale, and national security.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (mccarthy.com) is one of the nation’s oldest and largest commercial construction companies. Founded in 1864, the firm has been building in the science and technology market for more than 50 years. The company is working on government projects totaling $2.4 billion nationwide. Headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy also has offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco and Sacramento. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned.