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Brookhaven National Laboratory – Laboratory Office Buildings (LOB)

Brookhaven National Laboratory Laboratory Office Buildings LOB


In 2010, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) selected EW Howell Construction Group for the Laboratory Office Buildings (LOBs) project. The LOBs at BNL are part of the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) construction. EW Howell  constructed five LOBs which provide 124,000 square feet of lab and office space for NSLS-II. Each LOB features a mix of wet labs, dry labs, fabrication/assembly shops, and tech spaces that have easy access to the NSLS-II experimental floor. Each building has offices to accommodate up to 124 occupants.

The initial best value bid approved three LOBs, but the contract made space for two more facilities, which were eventually included. The NSLS-II project creates X-rays 10,000 times more intense than traditional NSLS. Scientists use the building for the S light source, which is a ring building for sensory X-rays of nanomaterials. Every year, approximately 2,200 researchers travel from 400 government labs, universities, and companies to use NSLS-II to study computer chips, catalysts, biological molecules, and more.

EW Howell faced a variety of challenges on this project. One such challenge was joining the LOBs to the NSLS facility, which was still being built. To do this, EW Howell and the other NSLS team coordinated their schedules. Communication was essential throughout construction; sometimes all five buildings were at different building stages as more than 130 laborers worked on their individual assignments.

Another challenge was the Buy America Act that BNL used for federal funding, requiring EW Howell to change suppliers to guarantee that the main elements of the building were made in America. During the project, EW Howell build more than just LOBs; the team collaborated with the HDR architects, the lab project team, and other subcontractors to fulfill clients’ expectations for complex designs.

BNL security was a third obstacle for EW Howell. Because of sensitive scientific projects and nuclear research, workers submitted to random quality control inspections. Trucks underwent scans, weigh-ins, and examinations; equipment was inspected and tagged; 24-hour surveillance cameras were installed; and workers signed in and out using photo ID badges.

Despite obstacles all five Laboratory Office Buildings at Brookhaven National Laboratory were completed on time. Additionally, an overall objective was to guarantee workers’ safety. BNL honored EW Howell with an award for working over 300,000 man-hours without any lost workdays due to injuries.

This project was recognized in Engineering News-Records’ 2013 Best Projects, receiving the Award of Merit for Government/Public Buildings.


The Laboratory Office Buildings are LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In addition to energy-efficient systems and the wide usage of recycled materials, occupant comfort features such as daylighting and an HVAC monitoring system allowing for adjustment based of real-time occupant feedback are focal points of this project.






120,000 SQ FT


120,000 SF New Construction

BNL Laboratory Office Buildings
BNL Laboratory Office Buildings



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