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Multilevel building set into a hill with white awnings, stepped tiers and purple and green landscaping
National Institute of Standards and Technology

World-Class Research and Workplace

Project Location

Boulder, CO


79,000 SF


Architecture, interiors, laboratory planning, EGD

Special Features

Cryo and Laser labs

Scientists working at Building 1 on the National Institute of Standards and Technology campus, also known as the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory, conduct highly controlled, world-class research. Our design transforms this campus building into a vibrant, healthy workplace that competes at a global level by providing energy-efficient laboratories, areas for chance interactions, modernized workspaces, and dedicated outdoor spaces.

The design-build project renovates 79,000 square feet of research labs, workspaces, and support areas. This includes a reconfigured floor plan; a new casework and equipment package; mechanical, electrical, and gas systems upgrades; and replacement lighting. High-efficiency systems add to the resiliency of the building, which is LEED Gold certified. DLR Group provided architecture, interior design, laboratory planning and programming, and experiential graphic design.

Featured Video
Designing a World Class Laboratory

The National Institute of Standards and Technology needed to reinvent their workplace. It’s proof that a building can meet the rigorous needs of a scientific environment without sacrificing employees’ wellbeing.

A Modernized Lab Facility

Functional aspects of the building are enhanced by providing dedicated lab support space and upgrading programmatic and mechanical layouts, while still honoring the historic character of the building. The design accommodates both cryogenic and laser labs in a multi-story building with partial locations for slab-on-grade labs. Programming focused on creating flexible indoor spaces and dedicated outdoor areas for work and socialization, providing a bridge between intense research and staff well-being. The facility plays a significant role in supporting the CHIPS & Science Art for America research and development program and will continue to impact the economy, advance research, and enhance national security.

Firm News

team cutting a ribbon National Institute of Standards and Technology Wing 5 Opens in Colorado

The Latest

National Institute of Standards and Technology Wing 5 Opens in Colorado

Renovations to the historic NIST Boulder Wing 5 in Colorado are now complete, featuring modernized laboratories and flexible outdoor space.

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