National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Building One Renovation

Building One Renovation

SmithGroup’s fully integrated team of architects, planners, interior designers and engineers enabled valuable collaboration across disciplines, ultimately delivering an integrated and unconventional solution.


National Institute of Standards and Technology


Boulder, Colorado


Architecture, Lab Planning, Government, Government Research, Science & Technology


185,000 SF

Building One Renovation

Precision really matters here: NIST is home to the atomic clock, leading quantum computing research programs and unique superconducting devices.

Precision and stability is tantamount for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal government’s premier laboratory for advanced measurement science, standards and technology. Yet as this 1954 building aged and technology advanced, it couldn’t maintain the stable environment the sensitive equipment demanded.

Building One Renovation

Working primarily within the confines of its four-wing footprint, SmithGroup found a way to provide the required high-caliber research space and necessary mechanical services: By adding a new service corridor onto one side of each wing, it could reserve the other side for laboratory needs—maximizing the capacity of the research space for its highest and best use. Maintaining operations was paramount for the success of the project, as the existing building housed an atomic clock, used for the nation’s primary time and frequency standard.

Building One Renovation

The design created a new strategy for servicing laboratory areas: providing a dedicated corridor for mechanicals, rather than placing them on the roof.