DOE Breaks Ground on New Energy Research Building

July 27, 2004

Conceptual drawing showing a bird's-eye view of the Science and Technology Facility.

An architect's rendering of the future Science and Technology Facility.
Credit: NREL

DOE broke ground on July 27th on a new research facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. The 71,000-square-foot Science and Technology Facility (S&TF) will include a 10,000-square-foot laboratory dedicated to thin-film photovoltaic devices, which promise lower-cost solar power. The facility will also enable NREL to expand its research capabilities in hydrogen, solid-state lighting, superconductivity, electrochromic windows, and nanotechnologies. Construction is expected to begin in fall, and the building should be complete in 2006.

"This new facility will extend DOE's and NREL's research capabilities and hasten the day when we reach our goal of providing the kind of clean, affordable energy solutions that can be used by all Americans," said David Garman, DOE's acting Under Secretary of Energy. See the DOE press release.

The new S&TF building is also designed to use about 40 percent less energy than similar laboratory buildings. Daylighting will be combined with automated controls to minimize the use of electric lights, and the design also includes energy-efficient climate control features. In addition, energy will be recovered from the air vented from laboratories. The building is designed to achieve a gold rating from the Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. See the building's description on the NREL Web site.