Argonne Scientists Begin Work in New Energy Sciences Building

December 20, 2013

LEMONT, Ill. – Inside and out, in its form, function, and construction, the recently-completed Energy Sciences Building stands as the hallmark of a new era of science and sustainability at Argonne National Laboratories. The 158,000 square-foot building, which is targeting LEED Gold certification, will house over 240 researchers dedicated to addressing critical energy challenges and transforming global society to new sources of energy. The Energy Sciences Building stands on a prominent site near Argonne's main entrance and will combine with other facilities to form the campus' "Energy Quad" around a common interior courtyard.

The four-level facility, which has a below-grade level and mechanical penthouse, was built by Clark under a $63 million contract. The building's 50,000 square feet of laboratory space was designed and built on a standard module to promote flexibility and accommodate Argonne's evolving needs. Casework systems in the laboratories incorporate innovative ceiling-mounted overhead service carriers for power and gas—allowing Argonne to easily reconfigure equipment and workstations on the floor as the need arises.

On the north end, the building is defined by a copper-anodized rain screen metal panel frame that surrounds a transparent low-iron glass façade. The south end features copper anodized panels and irregularly punched windows that limit solar penetration. A three story, stair-stepped atrium with a skylight at the top greets building visitors. The atrium is finished with faux rusted metal panels, reclaimed wood paneling, and stainless steel and glass guardrails.

The building will support cutting-edge research with state-of-the-art equipment and numerous sustainable amenities are in place to reduce overall energy usage. The building is equipped with over 100 low-flow variable volume fume hoods that reduce energy consumption, exhaust, and make-up airflow. This system contributes to an overall energy performance that is 38% higher than baseline standards.

HDR Architecture, Chicago, is the project architect, structural engineer, and MEP engineer. Additional project partners include Mackie Consultants, Rosemont, Ill., civil engineer; KJWW Engineering Consultants, Naperville, Ill., commissioning agent; and Jacobs Engineering, Chicago, construction manager.

ESB Expansion Already Underway

Shortly after Argonne's Energy Sciences Building made its debut, Clark was awarded a contract for the Materials Energy Module (MEM) project to expand the building. Clark's team will construct a 15,000 square-foot addition to the ESB to house additional laboratory and research space, as well as a 6,500 square-foot rooftop meeting area.

The MEM laboratories will house thin film synthesis and processing equipment that will support efforts in developing revolutionary approaches to energy-efficient information processing, solid-state lighting, power electronics, and energy-efficient cooling.

The project, which is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, is expected to be complete in July 2014.