ESRF Upgrade Programme: New buildings

Producing nano-sized beams needs long beamlines, which, at the ESRF, will reach 120 metres and in two cases even 250 metres. A combination of two extended experimental hall buildings along with a satellite building for the very long beamline ID16 with two end stations addresses this need.

Construction of the new buildings started in September 2011, followed by the ground-breaking ceremony on 29 November 2011. Delivery is between October 2012 (ID16 satellite building) and spring 2013. The construction of new beamlines will start soon thereafter.

Each of the two new experimental halls offers space for four long beamlines, most of them with more than one end station. In addition, a separate building of 4000 sqm is foreseen to host support laboratories and offices. Particular care and effort has being put into the design of the concrete slab of the extensions, notably where the new beamlines will be located, as its vibrational stability is key to the beamlines meeting their design performance.

Sustainable development is a major consideration in the design of the building extensions. All buildings roofs are to be planted with vegetation (6000 sqm in total), and the walls will have a reinforced thermal insulation and will be built from materials chosen for their environmental qualities. The three-storey labs and offices building will be accessible to people whatever their handicap.

Another objective is accident prevention during the building works despite many restrictions in terms of operations as a consequence. Once finished, the working conditions for staff and users should be optimum, thanks to the presence of daylight in the new experimental areas, reduction and optimisation of air conditioning, good ventilation, landscaping etc. The new buildings also comprise a 200 sqm cafeteria open 24 hours and 7 days a week and a welcome area called “Invisible World” where group visits to the ESRF will start and end.

In October 2009, the contract for the prime contractorship (maîtrise d’oeuvre) for the building project was awarded to GINGER Sechaud&Bossuyt. The complexity of the specifications and the need to meet tight budgetary and scheduling constraints made it necessary to foresee comparatively long and detailed design and tendering phases of nearly two years duration.

Obviously, the civil construction work has to interfere as little as possible with user operations which rely on beamtime often scheduled months ahead. This is why during the heaviest excavation works and the laying of foundations, a closure of the ESRF for user operations could not be avoided, from 5 December 2011 to 5 May 2012, corresponding to a 2.5 month additional shutdown. This was followed by a smooth restart and seamless user operations since.

The ESRF and the ILL share the EPN Science Campus, for which French regional and local authorities have agreed to make available 18 million Euros to build a new site entrance directly at the rue des Martyrs, to extend the common staff restaurant and to build a large new Science Building to host scientific partnerships and joint projects with research institutes and universities. Construction of the Science Building has already started, and the various other buildings or extensions will be completed in 2013 or 2014.

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