McCarthy, one of the nation’s leading science and technology builders, recently completed the new $95 million (total project cost), state-of-the-art Chemical and Materials Sciences Building for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). William Brinkman, director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, joined officials from DOE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory last week to dedicate the new facility.
Funded by the Office of Science’s Science Laboratory Infrastructure program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act monies, the team broke ground on June 1, 2009 for the three-story, 160,000-gross-square-foot research facility situated in a high-profile position on Central Avenue on the 10,000-acre campus. Immediately adjacent to the research facility, ORNL funded a new 80,000-square-foot, 273-space parking garage and additional 42 surface spaces to reduce congestion around the campus.
“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 Sciences Building marked many “firsts” for ORNL, including utilization of the Construction Management at Risk (CMR) project delivery method and the application of Building Information Modeling (BIM). With CMR, McCarthy provided preconstruction and construction services.
“McCarthy was engaged with the owner, architect and consultants from design through construction and until the facility became operational,” explained McCarthy Project Director Larry Van Houten. “This early and complete involvement lowered the owner’s overall risk on the project.”
In addition to the utilization of CMR, McCarthy introduced both ORNL and the Department of Energy to BIM, utilizing BIM technology as a tool for the first time on a campus construction project. By applying BIM during preconstruction, the project team was able to resolve over 7,000 utility interferences prior to breaking ground.
“BIM is not just 3D computer software,” said Van Houten. “It is an invaluable tool that can truly enhance project coordination and operations. We utilized BIM to improve project schedule, safety, quality and site logistics, as well as, to verify constructability and assist us with complicated prefabrication and installation processes.”
Using BIM, McCarthy developed a prefabricated approach to save money and time. By modeling the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, the team was able to pre-assemble duct work, piping and conduit materials off-site and deliver them to the construction location for installation as needed.
The project team logged over 609,000 man hours with an extremely safe site performance. Over 2,300 local tradespeople completed a Site Specific Safety Orientation, which initiated an infectious culture of safety throughout daily activities.
In keeping with campus architecture, the Chemical and Material Sciences building’s structural steel frame is clad with precast concrete and glass curtainwall. The facility features 50 labs, 164 offices and 120 work stations. The new facility replaces prior space constructed in the 1950s that suffered from high energy and maintenance costs.
The facility, which is on track to achieve LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, exemplifies ORNL’s emphasis on energy efficiency in both practice and purpose. Through its research, ORNL has pioneered a number of technologies that improve energy efficiency and lower energy costs. The new research building incorporates some of the advances developed on campus.
One example of ORNL technology is a photovoltaic system that converts sunlight directly into interior lighting. To maximize the amount of natural light in the building, light shelves were installed at the windows to reflect daylight onto the ceiling and deeper into the space. Windows were also installed between the building’s first interior wall and the next rooms to further extend natural lighting. By day, the lighting system will operate without electricity. A backup system was installed for use during non-daylight hours.
Other environmentally conscious features in the facility include energy efficient electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems. Further, roof drains direct water run-off into underground tanks, where it will be collected and used for landscape irrigation at the site. During construction, one project innovation included single stream recycling for all construction site waste recyclables. The project team negotiated with the local waste management company to execute an effective recycling program for the first time on an ORNL construction project. The result of this effort was that 91.5% percent of waste was recycled, diverting 3,462 tons of material from landfills.
All of the efforts in planning, design, efficiency and sustainability were recently recognized by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The Chemical and Materials Sciences Building was honored with an ASHRAE’s Region VII Award in the Institutional – New category. The project is currently in contention for national ASHRAE honors in the same category.
Finalization of concept design, design and construction documents and construction administration was provided by Cannon Design of St. Louis. Original concept design was completed by Flad Architects of Madison, Wisc. McCarthy utilized local tradespeople for construction. Contractors on the project included Gem Technologies, Ozark Steel Fabrication, Kelpe Contracting, T.U. Parks Construction Co., Gate Precast, Payne Crest Electric, John E. Green Mechanical, Odom Construction, Escola Roofing, Trainor Glass, Johnson Controls and Thyssen Krupp Elevator.
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 4,600 and annual funding exceeds $1.65 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. This resume of experience includes: research facilities; life sciences; nanotechnology; pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical processing; data centers; high containment labs (BSL-3, BSL-4 and Potent Compound); cleanrooms; agri-business; and biomedical facilities. In addition to the Department of Energy, McCarthy provides services throughout the federal sector, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, US Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Indian Health Service. 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.