Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Modernization Program
Oak Ridge, TN
Cannon Design was recently chosen to provide full planning, architecture and engineering for a new project for the U.S. Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Building upon the ongoing program to define a new campus environment of world-class energy research facilities, the new project will create a 3 story, 170,000 gsf laboratory facility for cutting-edge energy-related research, emphasizing open, collaborative lab environments and flexibility to respond to future mission changes. The facility is LEED Gold certified.
Challenge: Design an exemplary LEED Gold laboratory building.
To create a LEED Gold laboratory building meant, above all else, minimizing HVAC energy consumption, due largely to the high laboratory air change rates required to remove airborne contaminants and assure worker safety. Total-enthalpy wheels and glycol-runaround loops recover heat energy from office and lab exhaust streams respectively. Rooms with heat-producing equipment house standalone air conditioning units to reduce ventilation demand. To provide N+1 redundancy in the ventilation system, an alternative to the conventional solution was used. Instead of installing an additional air-handling unit that sits idle, a group of larger capacity air-handling units, with an economical system of interlocked ductwork and dampers, work as one, increasing output to keep airflow constant in the event a unit fails.
On the roof, south-angled photovoltaic panels alternate with north-facing clerestories in a sawtooth configuration that combines power generation with interior illumination. Daylight enters windowless spaces through fiber-optic solar lighting, a technology developed at ORNL. Sunlight captured by a roof-mounted collector travels along fiber-optic cables deep into the building to illuminate workspaces with full-spectrum light unaccompanied by heat – further reducing cooling demands.
Meeting Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s goal of creating a LEED Gold laboratory building meant, above all else, minimizing HVAC energy consumption, as laboratory air must be changed many times per hour to keep workers safe from airborne contaminants. Total-enthalpy wheels and glycol-runaround loops recover heat energy from office and laboratory exhaust streams respectively. Rooms with heat-producing laboratory equipment are outfitted with standalone air-conditioning units to keep ventilation demand low. To meet a requirement for 100% redundancy in the ventilation system, three-dimensional computer modeling enabled development of an alternative to the typical n+1 solution of an extra air-handling unit that sits largely idle. Instead, an economical system of interlocked ductwork and dampers enables a group of larger-capacity air-handling units to work as one, ramping up output to keep airflow constant should one unit fail.
On the roof, south-angled photovoltaic panels alternate with north-facing clerestories in a sawtooth configuration that elegantly combines electricity generation with natural illumination of interiors. Daylight reaches windowless laboratory spaces as well, through fiber-optic solar lighting, a technology developed at ORNL. Sunlight captured by a roof-mounted collector dish travels down fiber-optic cables deep into the building to illuminate workspaces with beautiful full-spectrum light that is unaccompanied by heat—further reducing cooling demand.
View LEED Points
- Chemical Sciences and Materials Science divisions
- Adaptable and flexible laboratories
- Central service corridor
- Offices for researchers
Gayle Babcock Photography