NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory
For almost 100 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed the measurements and standards necessary for the United States to excel in technology innovation. To continue to respond to U.S. science and industry’s needs for more sophisticated measurements and standards in the face of heightened global competition, Kirlin was selected to construct five (5) of the most technologically advanced buildings in the world – The “Advanced Measurement Laboratory,” or AML. In the nearly 40 years since the NIST Gaithersburg, MD, campus was constructed, industry demand for highly accurate measurement standards has grown tremendously.
This facility, which covers nearly one million square-feet of net occupied space, will allow NIST scientists and engineers to locate and manipulate single atoms on a surface; detect ultratrace amounts of chemical agents; and measure the many optical, physical, and quantum properties of components for telecommunications devices, semiconductor chips, and magnetic recording devices.
The AML will provide superior vibration, temperature and humidity control, and air cleanliness. Compared to the existing NIST laboratory buildings, most of which were built in the 1960s, the AML will dramatically reduce vibration to sensitive experiments measuring atomic distances of just a few nanometers (billionths of a meter). Like vibration, temperature fluctuations can disturb the results of very sensitive measurements. Standard AML laboratories will provide temperature control of ± 0.25 degree Celsius with specialized high accuracy labs providing ± 0.10 degree Celsius and ± 0.01 degree Celsius temperature control to meet stringent scientific requirements. Air inside the various buildings will be HEPA filtered at clean rooms and at the class 100 clean room building to provide very good air cleanliness so dust or other stray particles will not foul measurements on atomic-scale devices. A special Class 100 clean room building will provide air cleanliness needed for more sensitive research. In addition, we were responsible for installing nearly 325,000 linear feet of process piping and 200,000 lbs. of sheetmetal that serves various equipment and research needs.