Teaming Up for Research

May 1, 2008
RICHLAND, WA - Construction contractors will break ground later this week on two new, privately financed research facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory campus in north Richland.

The Biological Sciences Facility and the Computational Sciences Facility - together valued at about $75 million - will partially replace laboratory and office space PNNL has been using on the south end of the nearby Hanford Site. That space must be vacated by 2011 to make way for the federal government's environmental cleanup activities at Hanford.

The Cowperwood Company, a real estate development company headquartered in New York City, will develop and own the facilities. CTL Capital, an investment banking firm also headquartered in New York City, structured the financing for the facilities. The Seattle office of San Francisco-based KMD Architects designed the buildings, and Houston's D.E. Harvey Builders is the general contractor, leading construction.

The BSF will be about 73,000 square feet while the CSF will be roughly 75,000 square feet. The two facilities will be connected by a two-story transparent atrium that provides shared common spaces where researchers from both facilities to collaborate and share research ideas. The buildings have been designed to utilize sustainable building practices. They will be leased from Cowperwood to Battelle, which operates PNNL for DOE.

"These new facilities confirm the work we're doing in the energy, environment and national security arenas is making a significant impact," said PNNL Director Mike Kluse. "They will allow us to expand our research programs, and once complete, these new facilities will make PNNL among the most modern in the national laboratory system."

Combined, the two facilities will house about 310 staff who support PNNL's energy, environmental, national security and fundamental science research missions.

Specifically, staff in the BSF will conduct research that will aid environmental restoration and will provide a better understanding of how cells respond to environmental and chemical stress. They also will use state-of-the-art analytical approaches and powerful computer capabilities to predict how living organisms can help solve problems in bioenergy, environmental cleanup, carbon sequestration, and human health.

The CSF will host high-performance computing, cyber security, information analytics and computational biology research, and electronic and instrumentation labs. The facility features 10,000 square feet of raised computer floor space that will enable researchers to explore the next-generation of high-performance computing design for use in a variety of applications including homeland and national security.

Work in the facilities will be funded by DOE's Office of Science, the National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies and private organizations.

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