U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Science & Technology Facility

Golden, Colorado

71000 GSF, 6600 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Programming

Sustainable Programs
LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations (NC) LEED-NC-Platinum

Second Place -- New Institutional Buildings, Technology Awards, Special Mention Award, Laboratory of the Year Competition

View All Awards

“This cutting edge, environmentally sound, high performing building is the best outreach and teaching tool that we can offer to the public.”

—Nancy Carlisle, AIA, LEED AP, NREL Senior Project Leader


For NREL's facility dedicated to the study of clean energy technologies such as solar and hydrogen power, SmithGroupJJR brought to bear its considerable experience with integrated design, sustainability, and laboratory planning to critically analyze and create a holistic approach the conceptual solutions developed for use during the funding process.

Through a series of planning phase workshops, the team improved the final building form resulting in a more compact design that reduced site disturbance and fosters collaboration across teams and fields. The workshops also established separate office and lab functions, which promote occupant safety and optimal energy strategies, and flexible lab modules to accommodate a broad scope of research.

In the end the research organization was granted a facility that rapidly advances the development of new, cleaner technologies and their introduction to the market—often cutting production and commercialization times by as much as 25 percent. NREL's facility was awarded the 2008 R&D Magazine Laboratory of the Year Special Mention and was the first LEED-Platinum certified federal building, which reflects and confirms the lab's mission.

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