California elected officials joined NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby as she officially cut the ribbon of a new office building and conference annex at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) on Aug. 10. It was part of an ongoing expansion of the Lab’s Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC).
Aimed at sparking collaborations between government agencies, industry, and academia, the interconnected buildings will provide modern office and meeting space for researchers in predictive biology; materials and manufacturing; LLNL’s Innovation & Partnerships Office; and its High-Performance Computing Innovation Center. Additionally, the buildings will create an appealing environment that supports outdoor meetings, group gatherings and recreation.
“Although we’ve discovered over the past 18 months that many things we used to do in an office can be done from home or other locations, most of us draw energy from the people around us,” Hruby said at the ceremony. “Face-to-face interactions allow us to engage in robust dialogue with colleagues, to sharpen our ideas and thinking, and to mentor and build trust among our work teams in ways that cannot be replicated across a computer screen.”
Construction on the project began in August 2020 and LLNL staff should move into the offices later this summer.
Hruby was joined at the podium by two U.S. House of Representative members who represent the area.
“What happens within our labs protects our Nation and keeps our scientific understanding and technology on the cutting edge; what happens at the Livermore Valley Open Campus translates that know-how into real-world applications that move our economy forward and improve our lives,” said U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell. “These new spaces offer more opportunities for partnership with academia and industry, more chances for great minds to come together and collaborate on the ideas that will change our world for the better.”
Swalwell was joined by his House colleague, U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney.
“Investing in science means investing in our workforce and our future,” McNerney said. “This facility will provide a space for scientific and entrepreneurial collaboration between the top minds from the labs and private industry. Our Nation will be the beneficiary.”
Face-to-face interactions allow us to engage in robust dialogue with colleagues, to sharpen our ideas and thinking, and to mentor and build trust among our work teams in ways that cannot be replicated across a computer screen.
In addition to Hruby, Swalwell, and McNerney, speakers at the event included LLNL Director Kim Budil, LLNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology Pat Falcone, Livermore Field Office Manager Pete Rodrik, Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert, Livermore Mayor Bob Woerner, contractor Burns & McDonnell Regional Manager Kyle Beebe, and other special guests. Following the event, groups toured the new facilities.
At nearly 25,000 square-feet, Building 642 contains 105 offices, two double-size “hotel” offices, two conference rooms, and collaboration spaces. Building 643, the adjacent 2,975-square-foot conference annex, can accommodate about 90 people and includes a lobby and breakroom. The two buildings are connected by an open outdoor collaboration space with tables and bike racks.
The new facilities are the latest additions to the LVOC, a 110-acre open, unclassified environment developed to stimulate collaborative projects with external partners and to inspire the alliances required to meet a broad range of 21st-century challenges. LVOC is a joint initiative of NNSA, LLNL, and Sandia National Laboratories.
Technologies advanced in the Open Campus could significantly reduce the cost, space, and time involved in manufacturing key components for the Nuclear Security Enterprise.