$95 million ORNL research facility being built in Oak Ridge

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE)  – Ground was broken Tuesday on a $95 million multipurpose research facility that will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The new Translational Research Capability, or TRC, will be used for research in computing and materials science and will serve to advance the science and engineering of quantum information, ORNL said in a news release. 

RELATED: Supercomputer: World’s fastest computer being built at ORNL

“Through today’s groundbreaking, we’re writing a new chapter in research at the Translational Research Capability Facility,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This building will be the home for advances in Quantum Information Science, battery and energy storage, materials science, and many more. It will also be a place for our scientists, researchers, engineers, and innovators to take on big challenges and deliver transformative solutions.” 

The TRC is located in the central ORNL campus and will accommodate sensitive equipment, multipurpose labs, heavy equipment and inert environment labs. Approximately 75% of the facility will contain large, modularly planned and open laboratory areas with the rest as office and support spaces, ORNL said.

“This research and development space will advance and support the multidisciplinary mission needs of the nation’s advanced computing, materials research, fusion science and physics programs,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said. “The new building represents a renaissance in the way we carry out research allowing more flexible alignment of our research activities to the needs of frontier research.”

At approximately 100,000 square feet, the TRC will be similar in size and appearance to the Chemical and Materials Sciences Building, which was completed in 2011 and is located nearby.

ORNL began a modernization campaign shortly after UT-Battelle arrived in 2000 to manage the national laboratory. The new construction has enabled the laboratory to meet growing space and infrastructure requirements for rapidly advancing fields such as scientific computing while vacating legacy spaces with inherent high operating costs, inflexible infrastructure and legacy waste issues.

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