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  Pioneering Design for the Nano World • Vol. 1 - Issue 1
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  INSIDE this issue
Amazing Journeys Begin with one small step
Laboratory Frontiers: NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory
Challenges on the Frontier: Temperature control
Buildings for Advanced Technology Workshop: HDR recently co-sponsored a three-day workshop
News Items: Nanotech is BIG at NIST
Providing Building Solutions: Ahmad Soueid
   
  Laboratory Frontiers:
National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Measurement Laboratory
   
 

Since 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has played a pivotal role in ensuring the integrity of our nation’s measurement and standards system.
NIST carries out this mission through a portfolio of four major programs: Measurements and Standards Laboratories, Advanced Technology Program, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Award.

To continue to provide the unparalleled research that defines NIST requires world-class laboratories. The lack of high-quality laboratories hindered its ability to conduct research, which required precision and exacting measurements in vibration isolation, temperature and humidity control, air cleanliness and electrical power quality. The Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML), perhaps the most technologically advanced building in the world, will provide NIST the environment it needs to continue to effectively
respond to the industry’s need for sophisticated standards and measurements.

HDR’s team of architects, engineers, and consultants provided full A/E services, including project management, design and construction administration for the $235-million AML in Gaithersburg, Maryland. When completed in 2004, it will
provide research space available nowhere else in the world. No existing laboratory has successfully combined the features of close temperature control, vibration isolation, air cleanliness and power quality into a facility of this magnitude… until now.


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“We’ve employed multiple layers of vibration isolation as well as special active and passive devices and methods… to achieve a vibration velocity amplitude of less than one micrometer per second at frequencies greater than 4 Hz.”
— Ahmad Soueid, HDR Principal

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To achieve the exacting conditions necessary for research success, the 511,070-SFAMLconsists of five building wings, each with one occupiable scientific level:

• Two metrology wings, below grade
• Two instrumentation wings, above grade
• Cleanroom wing, above grade

The lab facilities will be used to conduct advanced nanoscale research in areas such as:
• Semiconductor electronics
• Manufacturing engineering
• Atomic scale physics
• Computer science
• Advanced materials science
• Metrology

Since temperature fluctuations can disturb the results of very sensitive measurements, critical design factors include spaces requiring a baseline temperature control to within +/- 0.25 degree Celsius. In the 48 precision temperature control laboratories in metrology sections, the temperature will be
within +/- 0.1 and +/- 0.01 degree Celsius. Bay and Chase cleanrooms are class 100, upgradeable to class 10.Humidity control will provide variations of no more than 1 percent in specialized areas and 5 percent throughout the rest of the facility.

Additional critical design factors include vibration levels as low as 100 micro-inch per second and cleanroom classifications from10 to 10,000. Laboratories will be located on grade, the best possible location with respect to vibration. Where more stringent vibration controls are necessary, special air
spring isolation slabs will be constructed. “We’ve employed special active and passive isolation devices and methods, including computer-controlled slabs and placement of the most sensitive areas about 40 feet below ground level to achieve a vibration velocity amplitude of three micrometers per second or less,” said Ahmad Soueid, HDR Principal.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art research environments, the design incorporates five major lab planning concepts:
• Modular lab dimensions
• Hierarchical zoning
• Separation of service galleys from staff/public circulation corridors
• Interstitial service zone
• Provisions for future service and space upgrades

The laboratory organization is not highly segregated and provides for the flexibility to conduct research in more than one lab; it is also designed to encourage a collaborative research environment. To maximize flexibility and cleanliness, mechanical services, as well as “dirty” lab support equipment and gas bottles, will be located in service galleys between laboratory modules.
As part of the sustainable design solutions, natural daylighting, energy conservation and recycling are incorporated into the building design and planned operation.