The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing $8 million to Argonne
National Laboratory for detailed design work for a new, world-class energy
research facility. This is the first step in beginning work on what is expected
to be a $95 million construction project.
The facility will sit between two current Argonne buildings: the recently-constructed Theory & Computing Sciences building and the Materials Science building.
The Energy Sciences Building (ESB) will provide an environment that will accelerate
the pace of discovery by bringing together interdisciplinary teams of researchers
in a space that can be adjusted to accommodate an evolving energy-related science
agenda. Construction is scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2011.
"The ESB will house the kind of research infrastructure that is necessary
to conduct breakthrough science," Argonne Director Eric Isaacs said. "Compared
to many of Argonne's existing buildings, some of which are more than 50 years
old, the ESB will enable highly interactive scientific collaborations by bringing
together in one place energy-related scientific research that is presently spread
throughout the Argonne campus."
"The work in the ESB will focus on four central themes associated with
Argonne's energy security strategy, strengthen our basic research capabilities
and facilitate synergies that enhance both," Al Sattelberger, associate
laboratory director for Energy Sciences and Engineering, said.
Those four themes are:
- Discovery synthesis – designing and synthesizing new materials to
achieve a better understanding and enhancing the performance or durability
of existing energy conversion materials;
- Solar energy – learning from nature to more efficiently harness the
power of the sun and convert it to fuels or electricity;
- Catalysis/fuel cells – designing and fabricating better catalysts
and fuel cell materials for more efficient energy conversion;
- Electrical energy storage – performing the science and engineering
for better batteries with higher energy densities, enhanced safety, and extended
lifetimes for device, transportation, and electrical grid applications.
"The ESB is another step in Argonne's long-range campus modernization
plan," Sattelberger said. Completion of ESB is currently slated for FY
2014. The building will be located in the northern part of the Argonne campus,
known as the 200 area. The multi-story building will be approximately 140,000
square feet and accommodate an estimated 250 employees.
The focus on long-range plans for construction of buildings that will ensure
the competitiveness of Argonne is part of a broader modernization initiative
by the DOE Office of Science, which oversees Argonne and nine other basic science-oriented
national laboratories for DOE.
"The focus of this modernization effort is major capital investment in
the infrastructure to ensure the continued vitality of the national laboratories
and to improve the readiness of the infrastructure to support current and future
missions of DOE," Angela Harvey, director of the Infrastructure, Programs
and Projects Division at the DOE Argonne Site Office, said.
"This initiative involves all the SC laboratories and includes more than
30 projects totaling more than $2 billion," Harvey added. "The end
result will be modern, safe, quality infrastructure that will allow the laboratories
to ensure scientific leadership now and in the future."