Mortenson Denver Begins Construction on NREL Facility

Mortenson, a top-20 U.S. builder, developer, and engineering services provider with four decades of experience in Colorado, recently started construction on the Research and Innovation Laboratory (RAIL), a new research laboratory on the South Table Mountain Campus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This is Mortenson’s fourth project collaborating with NREL.

The 15,700-square-foot laboratory will provide multipurpose lab space for cross-disciplinary research within the fields of chemistry, materials science, bioscience and engineering. This project will be the first of its kind on the NREL campus and features an adaptable design to meet a variety of collaborative functions.

The total budget for the RAIL project is $19.5 million, with $15.5 million awarded to Mortenson under a Design-Build contract. RAIL is designed by Davis Partnership Architects. The project is anticipated for completion in the Fall of 2022.

“Starting this project and partnership with Mortenson on our new RAIL facility is an important milestone here at NREL,” said Associate Laboratory Director for Facilities and Operations Dan Beckley. “The research that will take place in this facility – from upcycling plastics and next-generation batteries to advanced energy materials – has the potential to be a game-changer for the marketplace not only here in the US, but globally.”

The researchers working in RAIL will come from NREL’s Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences, Materials and Chemical Science Technology, and BioEnergy Science and Technology programs.

RAIL’s innovative and sustainable design includes heat recovery evaporative cooling and builds in the flexibility and infrastructure to support future renewable technologies. The building will also be equipped to support a future microgrid that will allow the facility to run entirely from renewable energy.

“We’re proud to continue to support the vital work NREL is doing to chart a path towards a clean energy future for our country,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, vice president and general manager at Mortenson Denver. “We’re thankful for this opportunity and look forward to working with the team here to bring this next-generation research and lab facility to life.”

Mortenson Denver has previously constructed nearly 95,000 square feet of research space for NREL, beginning in 2006 with the completion of the Science and Technology Facility, and later on both phases of the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility, which was completed in 2011.


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