SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory--Science User and Support Building Project

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory-Science User and Support Building

2016 Diamond Level Partnered Project of the Year Award – Vertical Project $25M-$250M

  • (Owner) Department of Energy and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • (Prime) Hensel Phelps Construction Co.
  • (Designer) KMD Architects
  • (Facilitator) OrgMetrics LLC

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Project Information

Principal Stakeholders:
Andy Burdett, Operations Manager, Hensel Phelps Construction Co.
Jeff Sims, Project Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Wally MacMillan, Project Architect KMD Architects

Original Project Budget: $46,644,000
Final Project Budget: $51,653,342

Planned number of Work Days: 730
Actual number of Work Days: 730

DRB/Claims: None

Change Orders: 157

OSHA Recordables: 4

Estimated Savings due to Partnering Program: $250,000

Project Details:

On this project, the team committed itself to project-specific goals such as achieving LEED Gold and honoring the history of the SLAC lab in Menlo Park, CA, both of which it successfully did.  With attention to energy efficiency, the team implemented, for the most part, passive heating and cooling systems.  In the interest of preserving the building’s legacy, fourteen of the original seats were taken out prior to demolition of the Panofsky Auditorium to be reintegrated in the new one. Each seat honors a Nobel Laureate who worked there. Onsite project milestone and safety celebrations contributed to team morale, focus, and strong relationships. At the end, they reported an average score of 4 for trust and 3.7 for teamwork.


The team took extra care to clearly delineate roles, responsibilities, and the chain of command, because having two owners was likely to create complications down the line. They adjusted their decision approval process for greater efficiency and insisted on a “talk it out” motto that would encourage issue resolution at the field level.When challenged to find an alternative solution for a smoke-removal system, the design-build team and AHJ & SLAC representatives collaborated and decided upon a horizontal fire shutter for half the cost.