The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) Building 53 is a new facility added to the existing SLAC compound. It consolidates many of the SLAC onboarding and user support functions into a centralized location. This would allow SLAC to better serve those who utilize the national laboratory complex. The building project is a direct result of recommendations from a 2014 task force charged with improving processes to provide visiting scientists, at SLAC, an optimal research experience.
Completed in the fall of 2015, the SLAC Building 53 houses SLAC’s Visitor, User, Employee (VUE) Center, Director’s Office, Stanford University Office, Communications, Security, Campus Auditorium, Cafeteria and Conferencing Center. By centralizing these areas, the newly built facility consolidates support tasks that were previously managed in separate organizations, including badging, visas and housing. The four-story office building provides approximately 62,000 square feet of space. It has been built to achieve LEED Gold certification and to qualify as a High Performance Sustainable Building (HPSB).
Meeting High Performance Goals with High Performance IMPs
To accomplish these goals and certifications, much consideration was given to selecting building materials that would enable high levels of sustainability, energy-efficiency and R-values. Insulated metal panels (IMPs) were identified as a viable solution, and ultimately Kingspan’s Designwall™ 2000 architectural wall panels were chosen to create a building envelope capable of high performance.
As part of the BENCHMARK series of building products, Designwall™ panels are ideal for net positive construction projects such as the SLAC Building 53. The Designwall™ series delivers curb appeal, rapid build speed, advanced building envelope technology, outstanding durability, sustainable feature enhancements and design flexibility.
One of the main reasons for specifying Designwall™ 2000 panels for the construction of this project was their ease of installation. As a single-component product, the metal panels were rapidly installed on the exterior walls of the building, streamlining construction schedules, increasing build speed and maintaining budgetary needs. Designwall’s cost-effective pricing, coupled with close proximity of the fabrication plant to the jobsite, enabled Alumawall (the manufacturer and fabricator tasked with erecting the Kingspan panel system) to complete timely construction of the SLAC Building 53 project.
Overcoming Challenges through Teamwork
As with many projects, there were numerous design changes to the exterior that could have challenged the building’s overall construction schedule. However, thanks to their close working relationships with Kingspan’s BENCHMARK sales and management teams, project leaders were able to overcome these challenges and meet deadlines. As noted by Janden B. Sullivan, Project Manager at Alumawall, “We are looking forward to building a long lasting relationship with BENCHMARK and Kingspan. We hope this is just one of the many landmark projects that we will call a success using Kingspan Architectural Products.”
An Innovative Structure to Facilitate Innovations in Science
Scientists, staff and students all welcome the SLAC Building 53 as a truly functional addition to a national laboratory complex known for cutting-edge research and important scientific discoveries. The centralization it provides streamlines key processes, while its BENCHMARK building envelope provides high performance for a lifespan of energy-efficiency, enduring style and sustainability.
“Delivering valuable, responsive, friendly service is about understanding who your customers are and partnering with them in order to address and anticipate their needs,” says Sacha Hanigan, VUE Center manager and former SLAC assistant chief of staff. “SLAC has a stellar reputation for outstanding science and user facility operations. As the lab continues to grow, venturing into new research areas and bringing new facilities online, it’s very important that each person’s first interaction with us be reflective of our world-class science and that our support model consistently facilitates their experience here.”
On Oct 7, 2015, a building dedication ceremony was held at the SLAC Building 53, celebrating the newest addition to the vast laboratory complex. Residents and visitors of Menlo Park, California, are encouraged to tour the new structure to learn more about the groundbreaking research being conducted within.