Idaho National Laboratory
Collaborative Computing Center
A collaborative computing environment
Central among a series of new developments that Flad Architects has designed on the Research and Education Campus (REC) of Idaho National Laboratory is the Collaborative Computing Center. This new facility provides a modern, high-performance computing environment, a place where INL researchers, Idaho universities, and industry partners explore computer modeling and simulation to develop new nuclear materials, advance nuclear energy concepts, and conduct a broad range of scientific research.
The Collaborative Computing Center, known colloquially as C3, houses new and older generations of supercomputers that provide research capabilities benefiting the lab and institutions throughout the state. Off-site computer users, such as students and faculty at Idaho's universities and colleges, have remote access to the high-performance computing systems in the C3 through the Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON).
Key research focus areas and capabilities for the facility include high-performance computation, advanced modeling and simulation, data sciences and visualization, big data analysis, and quantum mechanics. These capabilities are supported by a series of functional spaces in C3 that include a large High-Performance Computer (HPC) Lab, a large conference and training room, a large multistory collaboration space (the Hub), 15 modular computational labs (the pods), and an open lobby/event space. These program spaces are organized to allow natural light into the building while providing views to the Eastern Idaho landscape, including an overlook onto the Snake River. At full capacity, the facility is designed to support 200 professionals working together in a collaborative environment.
The approximately 67,000-square-foot building functions as a research building should, with hardware and megabytes taking the place of typical components of research facilities such as wet labs and fume hoods. The C3 is laid out using standardized, modular computational research pods clustered to support scientific and social interaction through access to flexible formal and informal collaboration spaces. Measuring roughly 36 by 40 feet apiece, each pod supports 12 to 15 people and is designed to adapt to changing research demands, technologies, and research projects. The pods and the Hub feature modular furniture on casters and relocatable utilities, allowing for flexibility and reconfigurability.
During Flad's long relationship with the Battelle Energy Alliance (which operates the INL), the pace of progress has never been as intense as it is now. Ground was broken on the Flad-designed, complementary Cybercore Integration Center at the same time as the C3, and Flad's team is in design of INL's MFC Office and Meeting Center. By responding to INL's growing needs and capabilities, Flad is aiding in the development of research that's critical to the lab and to the country, helping INL reach its goals of strengthening partnerships with universities and businesses, and advancing educational opportunities across the state.
LocationIdaho Falls, Idaho
Project TypeScience & Technology