Laboratory energy manager Wayne Parker said the facility, which comprises the privately-funded part of the recent modernization, is 32 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings and is an example for construction of the future.
"New construction going on around the country can utilize the same techniques and minimize their energy consumption," Parker said. "We all know that the cost of energy and fuels has gone up dramatically in the past several weeks." The award-winning complex consists of three buildings housing offices, conference rooms, laboratories, supercomputer rooms, and clean rooms. The three-story Computational Science Building includes an energy-efficient central energy plant that serves the three main buildings (plus two other new buildings nearby). This building also houses a 40,000 sq. ft. computer center housing what is rapidly becoming the world's fastest supercomputer. The Research Office Building is also three stories tall, and the two-story Engineering Technology Facility includes high-bay areas. A gathering place known as "Main Street" connects the three buildings. Parker said the new complex has resulted in annual electricity savings of 10 million kilowatt hours while saving more than five million gallons of water last year.
"There's starting to be an increased interest in how can we minimize the cost to our customers, how can we minimize the utility bills at Oak Ridge National Laboratory," Parker says. "These types of projects are definitely going to help in that arena."
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.
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