Brookhaven National Laboratory Completes Major Science Lab Renovation

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Renovated laboratory space in building 480.

Brookhaven National Laboratory has concluded the first phase of an ongoing effort to modernize existing research facilities through the complete renovation of materials science research and fuel-testing laboratories. The new facilities, in the Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science Department (Bldg. 480) and the Global and Regional Solutions Directorate’s Applied Physical and Chemical Sciences building (Bldg. 815), will support cutting-edge investigations into some of the most important questions facing the Department of Energy today.

“In building 480 laboratories, research is focused on characterizing new materials,” said Peter Johnson, chair of Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science Department. “We look at superconducting materials with a view on potential energy technology application.” In building 815 laboratories, materials science researchers are investigating ultra-sensitive tracer technologies for use in portable, durable instrumentation that can detect hazardous and potentially dangerous materials.

The facilities in both buildings dated back to the 1960s, said the Modernization Project Office’s Richard Scheidet, who served as project manager for this renovation phase. Scheidet described the work, which began in October 2009 and was completed in November 2011, as a total rehab. Improvements include the replacement of cabinetry, ceilings, walls, floors, all lab furniture, ventilation systems, electrical systems, fire protection and sprinkler systems, water and gas pipes, and fume hoods. The new lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will cut down on the buildings’ energy use.

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Renovated laboratory space in building 815.

“We did everything necessary to make the lab appealing to new scientists and to support world-class research,” Scheidet said.

Flad Architects was retained to design the existing spaces into modern, efficient laboratories, and E.W. Howell completed the general contracting work.

In all, the project updated 27,500 square feet of laboratory, office, and common space.

In keeping with Brookhaven’s green goals, Scheidet said, “We went through the checklist and we looked at items like energy-saving lights, energy-saving water, and making sure that the materials were recycled in a proper manner,” Scheidet said. “We also used environmentally friendly paints and sealants.”

The architecture team of Bergmann Associates with EYP Architecture & Engineering is handling the second phase of the renovation, which is ongoing and includes the buildings that house the Chemistry and Physics Departments (Bldgs. 555 and 510). These renovations are scheduled for completion in May 2013.

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