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Construction Contract Awarded for New PNNL Laboratory Facility

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May 02, 2008 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — A joint venture between Lydig Construction Inc. of Spokane, Washington, and George A. Grant Inc. of Richland, Washington, has been selected to complete a nearly 200,000- square-foot research facility on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory campus in Richland. The contract between PNNL contractor Battelle and the joint venture, signed April 25, is valued at $106 million and is the largest ever awarded in PNNL’s 43-year history.

Lydig/Grant will complete work on the Physical Sciences Facility (PSF), the largest of three new federally and privately funded facilities being built on PNNL’s north Richland campus. The new buildings will replace laboratory and office space PNNL currently is utilizing on the south end of the Hanford Site, and which must be vacated by 2011 to make way for environmental cleanup. Funding for construction of the PSF is provided by the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, all of whom sponsor research at PNNL.

The PSF comprises three main buildings — Radiation Detection, Materials Science & Technology, and Ultra-Trace — as well as a high-bay for research, a laboratory located 40 feet below the surface, and a radiation portal monitoring test track. Construction will be complete in 2010 and the facility will house about 450 staff to support national security and energy research missions. Research conducted in the PSF will lead to the development of:

  • Tools and methods for detecting and characterizing radionuclides as part of efforts to halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Unique materials used in advanced energy systems.
  • Chemistry and processing for use in basic radiochemistry research, closing nuclear fuel cycles, and for detecting nuclear proliferation.
  • Advances in radiation detection methods for identifying weapons of mass destruction and terrorist activities, and in support of treaties and agreements.

Under the contract, Lydig/Grant will lay concrete floors; construct walls and roofs; and complete the mechanical, electrical, piping and telecommunications infrastructure. They will begin work in July.

“The Physical Sciences Facility, along with the two privately-funded facilities, will strengthen the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science’s capabilities at PNNL to deliver results from research programs in basic energy sciences, biological and environmental sciences, and computational science,” said DOE’s Pacific Northwest Site Office Manager Mike Weis. “The project will contribute to the nation’s research needs in energy security, national security, and environmental restoration.”

Ground was broken on the PSF last August shortly after Randolph Construction Services of Pasco, Washington, was awarded a $1.7 million contract to survey the site and provide initial clearing and excavation. In September, a $14 million contract was awarded to Apollo Construction Inc. of Kennewick, Washington, to pour the building’s foundation and erect structural steel. The City of Richland provided the utilities infrastructure for the new facility using funds provided by a grant from the state of Washington.

Later this year, PNNL expects to break ground on two privately owned buildings – the Biological Science Facility and the Computational Sciences Facility. Both facilities, which will be joined by a lobby – will be about 74,000 square feet. The BSF will house systems biology capabilities used for microbial and cellular biology and analytical interfacial chemistry research. The CSF will host information analytics capabilities, and computer, electronic and instrumentation laboratories.

The two privately funded facilities will also open in 2010.

Tags: Energy, Fundamental Science, Computational Science, National Security, Operations, Chemistry, Biology, Radiation Detection, Facilities

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