Big changes for the Jefferson Lab campus
The Technology and Engineering Development Facility project, or TEDF, reached a critical milestone on Nov. 12, when the U.S. Department of Energy gave approval to the project’s performance baseline. The approval, known as Critical Decision 2 or CD-2, authorizes the final design phase to begin.
The Technology and Engineering Development Facility project will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research in the areas of nuclear physics, accelerator science, applied nuclear science and technology, and advanced superconducting radiofrequency instrumentation.
"TEDF is going to change the face - the look - of the lab. The building itself is going to be positioned so that from Jefferson Avenue you're going to see a high-tech facility," said Rusty Sprouse, manager of Jefferson Lab's Facilities Management and Logistics Division. Keith Royston, also in Facilities Management and Logistics, is the project manager.
Once complete, TEDF will provide a 70,000-square-foot Technology and Engineering Development building, a 30,000-square-foot addition to the existing Test Lab building, and will modernize the 96,000-square-foot Test Lab.
TEDF started out as three separate projects. A project to renovate the Test Lab had been planned for a number of years; it included construction of a separate building to provide office and workspace during the renovation. The two other projects would have provided additional new buildings for the Engineering Division and the Physics Division. These two projects were referred to as technology building one and technology building two.
TEDF brought all three projects together into one construction zone at the heart of the Jefferson Lab campus. It will house 250 scientists and engineers, along with workspace.
"The project is actually being built as two, separate buildings that are connected. One is the TED building, and the other is the Test Lab with its addition," Sprouse said.
An Environmentally and Aesthetically Pleasing Project
All of the TEDF facilities will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED) Gold Certification.
"These will be the first LEED buildings onsite," Sprouse said. To obtain a LEED certification, Jefferson Lab has minimized the amount of green space that will be used, thus limiting the number of trees that will be cut down. The A/C system will be 30 percent more efficient than industry-standard units. The work environment will be highly desirable, with nice amenities, natural light, views to the exterior and exterior landscaping.
In addition, the old, slightly pink Test Lab will receive a new treatment to spruce up the exterior. The new buildings also will have light wells for bringing in natural light and a geothermal mechanical system.
"We're trying to really have a first-class work environment for the staff. We're working with the architects and interior designers to furnish the facility. The materials will have high recycled content and low volatile organic compounds [VOCs]," Sprouse added.
Facilities Management and Logistics is carefully considering the project's impact on the staff. A transition-to-operations working group has been established to map out the relocation of staff before, during and after the construction. The goal is to minimize the number of relocations that employees will have to endure and thus minimize impact on their work. Sprouse said he expects the group to kick into high gear over the next six months.
The construction project is also allowing the laboratory to re-think the layout of the roads onsite. One common traffic snag has been the interruption caused by oversized equipment and helium and nitrogen delivery vehicles. The current SURA Road will be turned into a pedestrian path, as will Onnes Road, thus creating pathways for pedestrians in the center of the campus.
"We're going to separate our industrial traffic from our visitor traffic, literally changing the roads to what we think will improve circulation," Sprouse said.
Construction on the fast track
The CD-2 announcement came soon after the laboratory cleared the last major hurdle to reaching the milestone. Just weeks before, the DOE had approved and the laboratory had awarded the Construction Manager/General Contractor for pre-construction services to Mortenson Construction, based in Minneapolis.
This is the first time that the CM/GC approach has been used at Jefferson Lab, although other labs have successfully completed projects under similar arrangements. Choosing a CM/GC involves a contractor in the process at the point when the design is still underway.
"This method was chosen so that the project would be better integrated. Typically, CM/GC projects are done in a shorter period of time, because the contractor is familiar with the design early on and can actually influence how the work is done. By getting the contractor involved earlier, they can help identify issues from their lessons learned," Sprouse explained.
The CM/GC approach is especially useful due to the involved nature of the Test Lab renovation. The Test Lab is one of four buildings that were constructed before Jefferson Lab was founded in 1984. It was built in the 1960s for NASA and was used to study space radiation during the early stages of manned space flight.
The Test Lab now houses Jefferson Lab's Superconducting Radiofrequency Institute, a world-leader in superconducting radiofrequency and accelerator technology capabilities.
"There have been a lot of great developments that have occurred in the building, but now we need to position ourselves for the next 10-15 years. We are looking at the process flows, upgrading a lot of systems, integrating lessons learned, and positioning the group to be able to produce the next set of cryomodules and equipment for not only our lab, but also for other DOE facilities," Sprouse said. "It's very difficult to bring in a contractor and have a lump-sum bid for a project that is that involved."
With the CM/GC on board, the laboratory is moving ahead with the full design process. Sprouse expects to have the full design completed in January, followed by a review period. If all goes well, the DOE could award Critical Decision 3A to the lab as early as this spring.
CD-3A would allow the laboratory, if satisfied with the work done by the CM/GC, to get a jumpstart on construction by making an early-award package to Mortenson Construction. The package would enable construction site prep work, possibly including some utility work, relocation of the accelerator site gate and demolition.
The project has received $28M for start of construction in FY 2010. The laboratory is aiming to start actual construction of the facility by next fall and complete construction in 2012.
12 GeV in the middle
One potential challenge to the timing of TEDF project construction is that it will coincide with construction for the laboratory's 12 GeV upgrade.
"The timing, while not ideal, is certainly being coordinated closely with the 12 GeV project. The plan is to build the new facilities, which will allow us swing space to move people out of the Test Lab as we renovate the Test Lab," Sprouse said.
In fact, the TED building will have a high bay of its own, which will allow much of the current cavity and cryomodule work now taking place in the Test Lab to continue in the TED building.
"During all the process, the Test Cave and the Vertical Test Stands will be in continuous operation, except for a few short durations," Sprouse explained.
In addition, two smaller construction projects also will alleviate the space constraints posed by the overlapping schedule. Facilities Management and Logistics is planning to add an additional 3,000 square feet to the General Purpose Building and is planning the construction of the 12,000-square-foot Experimental Staging Building. The ESB will provide space for large experimental apparatus setup, dismantlement and storage.
Sprouse says even though the construction hubbub will likely entail some growing pains and will definitely keep his division hopping over the next few years, he's excited about the prospect of a new campus once the work is complete.
"It's going to bring a lot of people together and I think really is going to create an improved atmosphere, and create the conditions that lead to an improved work product."
Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.