Office Building Renovations Provide for Sustainability and Space

  • Colored banners hanging from side of triangular-shaped skylight

Jefferson Lab’s CEBAF Renovation and Expansion project will update two buildings to expand, optimize and modernize office space, while also enhancing sustainability

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility’s research and support community is growing. And while that’s a good thing, the increasing number of staff, students and visiting scientists on campus poses a challenge.

“In 2019, before the pandemic, the lab realized that they were running out of space,” said Scott Bentivegna, a Jefferson Lab conventional facilities project manager. “But even with a hybrid work model, where some people are working on-site, and some people are working from home, the number of people working for the lab just keeps continuing to outstrip the space that we have available.”

To keep up with this continued growth and ensure there’s enough room for everyone, Jefferson Lab is implementing the CEBAF Renovation and Expansion (CRE) project.

This isn’t an upgrade to the lab’s particle accelerator, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility. Rather, it’s a project that focuses on renovations and updates to two of the main office buildings on the Jefferson Lab campus, CEBAF Center and the newly acquired Applied Research Center (ARC).

CEBAF Center was originally built in 1988, with a new wing added in 2006. CEBAF Center is currently the lab’s main administration building and conference space. The Applied Research Center was built on property adjacent to the lab campus in 1998. It features lab space for local universities, as well as additional spaced leased by the lab for its staff and support functions. The renovations and updates for these buildings will expand, optimize and modernize space available to staff and visiting scientists, while also enhancing sustainability.

As the CRE project manager at Jefferson Lab, Bentivegna ensures that this project, which is currently in its design phase, remains on schedule and within budget.

A New Addition

The ARC was a collaborative effort among local universities and the Newport News Economic Development Authority. Jefferson Lab acquired the ARC building from the city of Newport News in late October, an event that was celebrated with a ribbon-tying event on Dec. 5.

The lab has received $10 million from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to renovate the ARC and CEBAF Center.

“The IRA money helps accelerate the project and will get it accomplished more quickly,” Bentivegna said.

The physical renovation on the ARC is expected to start in 2025 and finish in 2026. Once the ARC building is complete, Jefferson Lab staff will move in. This includes staff who are currently working in the Support Service Center (SSC), which the lab leases from William & Mary.

“The goal of the project is to provide additional office space that is modern, efficient, and sustainably designed and operated. This project will further the connection with the Newport News community by incorporating new, larger spaces for the science education partnership with local schools and a space for a Jefferson Lab visitor center,” said Corry Smith, Jefferson Lab project manager in the lab’s Facilities Management & Logistics division and director of the CRE project. Smith oversees all project activities and manages stakeholder relationships.

These support functions include, for instance, Jefferson Lab’s facilities management & logistics group, human resources, finance, procurement, the communications office, and the science education team.

Once the ARC renovation is complete and has begun to ease at least part of the limited space issue, the team will begin work on upgrades to CEBAF Center.

“The CEBAF Center will receive new, sustainable heating, ventilation, & air conditioning (HVAC) systems and controls, roof renovations, and renovations to the atrium and auditorium,” Smith said. “Any available contingency funds will be put in to renovation of the building’s wings.”

That renovation is projected to be completed in the summer of 2027.

Post-renovation, CEBAF Center will be filled with mostly scientists and conference support staff.

To help ensure the lab community remains connected, the lab is planning to build a new pathway to connect the Applied Research Center directly to CEBAF Center and the rest of the campus.

In Support of Sustainability

In addition to office space, the CRE renovations will add more conference space for collaboration. It will also use more recent color schemes in the wall paint and flooring. The ARC’s reworked lobby, for instance, will feature a sculpture of colored metal bars to help visitors visualize what a particle might see as it moves through the lab’s particle accelerator.

These modernizations are more than convenient and aesthetic in nature.

“My favorite part of the project is the upgrade to the HVAC systems to use geothermal energy from wells drilled deep below the campus. This upgrade will reduce our carbon footprint and allow us to follow the DOE’s vision of net zero emissions by 2045,” Smith said.

Both building renovations will help the lab progress toward its goal of meeting the high-performance, sustainable building standards from the DOE that includes a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by its buildings by 2045.

“Renovation and upgrades of these buildings is a step on the way toward that,” Bentivegna said. “Sustainability is a big part of what we’re doing.”

Today, a lot of the energy use of these buildings is from the heating and cooling systems. For example, ARC renovations will yield electricity and water savings. Switching more than 1,200 lighting fixtures from fluorescent and incandescent lightbulbs to LED bulbs will cut lighting electricity usage by about 25 percent. And replacing 125 sinks and toilets in the bathrooms with low-flow water fixtures will reduce water usage by almost half. These changes will save a total of about $85,000 in operational cost each year for the ARC.

“Beyond cost savings, the building will also reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions of carbon dioxide by roughly 812,000 pounds,” Bentivegna said.

As the team completes the renovation plans for the ARC, team members will turn their attention to CEBAF Center and how they can maximize gains in sustainability in the final plans for that renovation.

In the meantime, the team is hard at work on redesigning the ARC HVAC systems and preparing the construction plans.

Further Reading
Jefferson Lab Site Grows with Addition of Applied Research Center
Groundbreaking Planned for New $13.7 million Applied Research Center in Newport News
ARC Nurtures Technology Transfer (ARC Dedication)
Inflation Reduction Act Funding Moves Key Jefferson Lab Projects Forward

By Chris Patrick

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263,


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

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