News Release: NREL Selects Contractor for New Science & Technology Facility

Sept. 24, 2004 | By Sarah Barba | Contact media relations

Golden, Colo. — The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has signed a subcontract with the M. A. Mortenson Company to build the Laboratory's first major new facility in a decade, the Science & Technology Facility. The value of the construction subcontract is nearly $18 million. The total value of the project, including equipment and furnishings is approximately $28 million.

The new research building will be constructed at NREL's main campus, at the foot of South Table Mesa adjacent to the Laboratory's existing Solar Energy Research Facility. The new facility will allow NREL to enhance its research capabilities to meet DOE's goals for advancing solar, hydrogen and other promising clean energy technologies. The research focus in the Science & Technology Facility will be on accelerating the transition from lab discovery to use by the industry for technology commercialization.

Dr. James Spigarelli, CEO of Midwest Research Institute (MRI) signed the subcontract for NREL. MRI along with Battelle operates the Laboratory for the Department of Energy.

"Every step we take in making this new facility a reality is a step closer to energy independence for America," Spigarelli said. "At Midwest Research Institute, we believe it is an honor and privilege to manage and operate the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the Department of Energy. NREL's mission in developing affordable renewable energy sources is rapidly becoming a top national security priority as our country looks for ways to become less dependent on foreign energy sources. The new Science & Technology Facility will play a critical role in this mission."

Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2005 and completion is expected late in 2006.

The new laboratories specifically are designed to allow researchers from a variety of different disciplines to interact and share data while they work, and include novel design features through which individual labs can be combined to form large, open spaces for collaborative research.

The Science & Technology Facility is designed to encompass advanced energy efficiency and "green building" concepts.

The architecture makes good use of natural light wherever possible, and is coupled with an automated system that pares electric use by dimming unnecessary supplemental lighting. Heating, cooling and ventilation systems likewise employ many of the most sophisticated principals for energy conversation available today.

See New Science and Technology Facility to Combine Energy Efficiency with Research for more on the building.

M. A. Mortenson has established itself as the leading general contractor in Colorado by providing superior building services to a variety of industries including biosciences, education, healthcare, site development and hospitality. In addition to construction services, Mortenson provides development services and design-build project delivery.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable energy research and development and a leading laboratory for energy efficiency R&D.