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One of the nation's newest and most premier energy research facilities has been named R&D Magazine's 2014 Lab of the Year.

Designed and built by SmithGroupJJR and JE Dunn Construction, the $135 million Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is located at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Its one-of-a-kind design will assist NREL, and its partners, to shape the energy systems of the future.

The prestigious and international Lab of the Year competition, which is in its 48th year, recognizes the best new and renovated laboratories that combine all aspects of the building into a superior working environment. It showcases new and emerging thinking, sustainable practices and creative responses to challenges in the design, construction and operation of modern laboratories.

ESIF received this significant award for being a first-of-its-kind 182,500 sf research user facility with a unique merging of three very specialized components: an ulrta-energy efficient workplace that consumes 74% less energy than the national average for office buildings, one of the world's most energy efficient high performance computing data centers, and sophisticaed high-bay laboratory spaces with outdoor test areas.