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Boulder Laboratories Building 1 Renovation (+$11.8 million)


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image: NIST


Challenge

Building 1 is nearly 60 years old and houses the majority of NIST research and measurement programs on the agency’s Boulder, Colo., site. However, the aging building cannot provide the tight control of vibration, temperature, and air quality required for 21st-century research needs. The poor condition of Building 1 causes an estimated loss in productivity of at least 20 percent due to the need to repeat experiments to produce quality research results and compensate for poor controls in other ways.

Even with the completion of Boulder’s Precision Measurement Laboratory later this year, many NIST research projects requiring tight environmental controls will need to continue in Buiding 1 due to a lack of adequate space. Renovation of Wing 6, the portion of Building 1 addressed with this initiative, includes a number of laboratories providing essential research and services such as calibrations for radio, microwave, and optical frequency equipment used in the telecommunications, medical, and scientific fields.

Beyond large research inefficiencies, current laboratory conditions in unrenovated wings of Building 1 also pose safety concerns. Ventilation systems do not supply adequate fresh air for modern laboratory work, electrical systems contain asbestos and do not meet current codes, lighting is poor, and most of the building is not protected by a fire sprinkler system contributing to potential life and occupational safety hazards.

The current Facility Condition Index for Building 1 is “poor.” Extensive upgrades are essential to ensure that the Institute can perform the exacting, precision measurements required to meet its mission.

Proposed NIST Program

This initiative is part of a comprehensive, multi-year plan for the phased construction of new space and renovation of Building 1 at the NIST Boulder laboratories. This request will support:

  • extensive interior renovations for Wing 6 which houses the NIST Electromagnetics Division (the remaining interior wing renovations will be completed with future funding requests); and
  • use of green construction technologies, including conservation of water, energy, and construction materials.

Expected Impacts

The successful renovation of Wing 6 in Building 1 is a critical step to ensure that NIST can more effectively support key technology priorities in telecommunications, nanotechnology, electronics, precision electrical standards, laser applications, medical imaging, electromagnetic interference testing, and other national needs.

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