The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's first facility that can conduct integrated megawatt-scale research and development of the components and strategies needed in order to safely move clean energy technologies onto the electrical grid 'in-flight' at the speed and scale required to meet national goals.
The 182,500sf facility's architectural significance is represented by a first-of-its-kind design and unique merging of three distinct and very specialized components. A ultra-green workplace, a high performance computing data center, and 14 highly sophisticated high-bay laboratory spaces with outdoor test areas work in concert to advance NREL's sustainable mission. The building's construction significance lies in the application of technology used to deliver the project at a highly collaborative and accelerated pace while maintaining the strictest standards of quality and safety.
Home to 200 scientists and engineers, the ESIF will not only meet the nation's crucial research objectives for integrating clean and sustainable energy technologies into the grid, but will do it in a way that is safe, efficient, and respectful to its surrounding environment. The ESIF is built in accordance with the U.S. Green Buildings Council's standards and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.
The design is fully borne out of the specific functionality of its internal program. Clearly delineated in the massing of the facility is each of the major project components: the High Bay, the Data Center, the Office Bar; all functioning both independently and as part of the larger 'organism.' None of these elements are candy-coated, they are viewed unapologetically as what they are and what they need to be by their function and purpose.