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The Project:

ORNL is the DOE’s largest science laboratory.  Six core competencies underpin activities at ORNL - neutron science, leadership computing and simulation science, energy engineering sciences, advanced materials and interfacial chemical processes, biological and environmental systems, and science and technology for national security.

ORNL has applied substantial resources to modernize its facilities and infrastructure to ensure continued support of the science mission in these areas.  Today, many of ORNL’s scientific facilities are new or have been recently upgraded.  However this is not the case for facilities housing the materials and chemical sciences organizations, the Chemical Sciences and Materials Science and Technology Divisions.   


The Modernization of Laboratory Facilities (MLF) Project will provide modern, 21st-century laboratories and associated space for support functions for materials and chemical research and development.  In addition to the research laboratories, the facility will include lab offices for researchers, small group conference rooms, equipment areas, restrooms, circulation space and needed supporting infrastructure. The project's objective is to provide 120,000 - 160,000 gsf of modern laboratories for material and chemical research and development.  The MLF will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

The Science: 

The Multiprogram Laboratory Facility will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research in the physical sciences.  Research programs affected by this acquisition include the following. 

·        Chemical transformations at interfaces (e.g., catalysis, corrosion)
·        Synthesis science for materials by design
·        Materials under extreme conditions
·        Science to energy
·        Biological mass spectrometry
·        Separation science
·        Geochemistry
·        Chemical and materials characterization

The design utilizes modern, efficient lab planning benchmarks as the basis for determining the size and configuration of space types.  The design emphasizes more open, collaborative environments and flexibility to respond to future mission changes. 


The Schedule: 



Milestone Description

Date (Actual [A])


CD-0 Approve Mission Need

September 2007(A)


National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Document Approved

June 2007 (A)


CD-1 Approve Alternative Selection and Cost Range

January 2008 (A)


Award A-E Design Contract

May 2008 (A)


DOE Approve CM/GC Solicitation

August 2008 (A)


Award CM/GC Design Support Contract

November 2008 (A)


CD-2 Approve Performance Baseline

December 2008 (A)


CD-3A Approval of Early Construction Package

May 2009 (A)


Complete Final Design

May 2009 (A)


Start Early Site and Foundation Construction

June 2009 (A)


CD-3B Approval of Building Construction

August 2009 (A)


Start Building Construction

September 2009 (A)


Building Construction Complete

May 2011 (A)


CD-4  Approve Project Completion

June 2011 (A)