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ORNL Multiprogram Research Facility

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>Indoor Environment
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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF)
(ORNL Multiprogram Research Facility)

This photo shows the Multiprogram Research Facility as viewed from the Research Support Center.


  • Location: Oak Ridge, TN
  • Building type(s): Other, Laboratory, Commercial office
  • New construction
  • 195,000 ft2 (18,100 m2)
  • Project scope: 5-story building
  • Rural setting
  • Completed October 2006
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Gold (39 points)

The Multiprogram Research Facility (MRF) was implemented through a design-build contract, but is a complex mixture of labs and offices that have stringent operational, security, and environmental and energy requirements. The program was highly developed and has detailed technical parameters that could not be compromised.

Environmental Aspects

The building's vertical orientation minimized its footprint on the landscape. Using native, drought-resistant plants in the landscape obviated the need for irrigation. This, along with the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures, reduced potable water usage by approximately 34%.

The building was projected to use 25% less energy than that of a comparable facility built in minimal compliance with code. A hybrid solar lighting system with rooftop solar collectors was installed to test the feasibility of using fiber optics for natural lighting.

The project team preferred materials with recycled content and those that were manufactured regionally. The team also recycled construction waste wherever possible.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned by Keenan Development Associates, LLC, Corporation, for-profit
  • Occupants: Federal government
  • Typically occupied by 318 people, 40 hours per person per week
  • Expected Building Service Life: 35 years

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Other (43%), Office (18%), Laboratory (14%), Conference (6%), Data processing (6%), Mechanical systems (3%), Retail general (3%), Public assembly (2%), Restrooms (2%), Lobby/reception (2%), Cafeteria, Circulation, Gymnasium, Electrical systems


Green specifications, Commissioning, Brownfield redevelopment, Indigenous vegetation, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, Recycled materials, Local materials, C&D waste management, Daylighting, Ventilation effectiveness, Moisture control, Thermal comfort, Low-emitting materials, Indoor air quality monitoring

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