APCF noted for distinctiveness, quality
by Sarah Schlieder, Communications, Education and Public Affairs
Argonne’s Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF) was awarded the Chicago Building Congress (CBC) Merit Award in the category “New Construction: Suburbs.” Judging for the merit awards is based upon the building’s distinctiveness of design, quality of construction, impact upon the community and the project’s safety record.
According to Argonne Distinguished Fellow Andrzej Joachimiak, the building’s design stems from a compilation of aspects of other laboratories throughout the country, including safety, collaboration and flexibility. All the necessary utilities for each lab within the APCF, for example, are delivered from the ceiling. This allows scientists to disconnect equipment and reconfigure the lab as needed.
We designed the building so that if the research is going to change, we can adjust the laboratory in order to do new things.
Andrzej Joachimiak, Argonne Distinguished Fellow
The APCF also employs a number of energy-efficient systems. An entropy energy recovery wheel helps to re-use waste energy from the building’s exhaust systems by gathering that heat to warm inflowing air.
Approximately 75 percent of office spaces are lit by natural light, which promotes employee wellness. SageGlass is used in the exterior windows of the building’s South wall, allowing employees to control sunlight without the use of blinds.
There’s nothing revolutionary about the building concept. It’s just a lot of good pieces all integrated together.
Argonne Project Manager Steven Hunsberger.
The APCF is connected to Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) — the brightest high-energy synchrotron in the Western Hemisphere. This allows for greater collaboration between researchers who work on structural biology genomic and protein research. Scientists can prepare samples within the APCF’s laboratories, conduct tests in the APS, gather data and then use that information to create computer-simulated images of the samples back at the laboratory.
This is not the first time Argonne has received recognition by the CBC. In 2014, Argonne’s Energy Sciences Building received the CBC award in the same category. John Busch, Argonne Program Manager for major projects, said receiving this award two years straight is a significant accomplishment.
This award is recognition that we’re building and designing great facilities. It’s recognition of the science that’s being done and its impact on the community. And it’s recognition that all of this is being done in a safe manner.
John Busch, Argonne Program Manager
Construction of the $35-million facility was funded by the State of Illinois.
The CBC is a trade association of engineers, architects, contractors and real estate professionals. Its annual awards honor outstanding construction projects in the greater Chicago area.