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New $13 Million Building Equips NCAR with State-of-the-Art Chemistry Labs

May 2, 2006

BOULDER—The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has opened a new $13 million, 82,000-square-foot building on the organization's Foothills Laboratory campus in northeast Boulder after more than a year of construction. The building, which houses state-of-the-art chemistry labs, enhances NCAR's research into air pollution, ozone loss, the impact of airborne chemicals and particles on climate change, and other aspects of atmospheric chemistry.


A look inside the new building's research greenhouse for studying interactions between plants and the atmosphere. Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Photos by Carlye Calvin, UCAR.)

"The building's development is one more example of the organization responding to the challenge of providing first-rate facilities for first-rate science," says Kathryn Schmoll, vice president for finance and administration at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), NCAR's parent organization. "We've all worked together to make it happen."

Staff recently finished moving into the facility, which was designed by The FWA Group and H+L Architecture and built by Gerald H. Phipps, Inc. The four-story building can accommodate 140 people spread among 14 labs that specialize in different aspects of atmospheric chemistry. In addition to labs and offices, the building contains a large atrium, conference space, and a phytotron, or research greenhouse.

"The new building is wonderful," says Brian Ridley, director of NCAR's Atmospheric Chemistry Division. "For the first time in about 10 years it brings all of the research groups in the division together under one roof. Easier interactions among the scientists as well as the new laboratory facilities will nicely promote our research capabilities."
The Atmospheric Chemistry Division was formerly housed in NCAR's Mesa Laboratory, the landmark building at the west end of Table Mesa Drive in southwest Boulder. Built in the early 1960s, the Mesa Lab cannot accommodate modern laboratory technology as easily as the new building.

Of the 1,372 UCAR and NCAR staff in the Boulder area, 937 now work in northeast Boulder at the Foothills Laboratory and Center Green campuses on either side of Foothills Parkway. The organization occupies nine buildings at the northeast site. NCAR houses its research aircraft at the Research Aviation Facility at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield.

NCAR's new building, located at the Foothills Laboratory campus in northeast Boulder, houses state-of-the-art chemistry labs. It is connected to other buildings at the campus with second-floor bridges. Click here or on the image to enlarge.

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