NREL and Mortenson Denver Celebrate ‘Topping Out’ of RAIL Facility in Golden

Mortenson, a top-20 U.S. builder, developer, and engineering services provider with four decades of experience in Colorado, recently celebrated the topping out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s new facility called the Research and Innovation Laboratory (RAIL) on the South Table Mountain Campus to commemorate the final beam put in place on top of the new building.

The fourth project Mortenson has undertaken with NREL, RAIL represents a first-of-its-kind research laboratory on the campus that will provide flexible laboratory space featuring an adaptable design to meet a variety of collaborative functions.

“This is a major milestone for a project that will substantially increase our research capabilities here at NREL,” said Associate Laboratory Director for Facilities and Operations Dan Beckley. “Mortenson has been a valuable partner in delivering quality projects for NREL, and we look forward to the next time we come together to cut the ribbon on our latest collaboration.”

The 15,700-square-foot facility broke ground in October 2021 and is expected to be completed late this year. The new building will provide multipurpose lab space for cross-disciplinary research within the fields of chemistry, materials science, bioscience and engineering.

The research that will be enabled by the new RAIL facility runs the gamut from upcycling plastics and next-generation batteries to advanced energy materials. The facility has the potential to be a game-changer for the marketplace not only here in the U.S., but globally.

Davis Partnership Architects led the design of RAIL, which will serve as an example of flexible, sustainable, high-performance building design. It includes energy-efficient technologies such as heat recovery evaporative cooling and infrastructure to support future renewable technologies. The building will be equipped to support a future microgrid that will allow the facility to run entirely from renewable energy.