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ORNL Readies Facility for 200 Petaflop Summit Supercomputer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is moving equipment into a new high-performance computing center this month which is anticipated to become one of the world’s premier resources for open science computing.

The IBM sourced computer and file storage system named Summit is expected to deliver up to 200 petaflops (quadrillion calculations per second), about twice as powerful as the world’s current leader in computer performance. Within a facility designed by Heery International to accommodate the system’s intense power, cooling and security needs, the Summit system will likely be one of the world’s fastest and most capable high-performance computing resources.

Heery International provided full architectural and engineering design services for the reconfigured 10,000 square foot on-campus facility which includes a new 20 megawatt power and cooling plant as well as an expanded central energy plant for the campus.

There were a lot considerations to be had when designing the facilities for Summit,” explained George Wellborn, Heery Project Architect. “We are essentially harnessing a small city’s worth of power into one room. We had to ensure the confined space was adaptable for the power and cooling that is needed to run this next generation supercomputer.”

The design of the Leadership Computing Facility furthers ORNL’s commitment to research in science, energy, and technology. Summit will be used to tackle national challenges in the areas of sustainable energy solutions, safe nuclear energy systems, advanced materials, sustainable transportation, and detailed knowledge of atomic-level structure and dynamics of materials.

ORNL and Heery International’s relationship dates back to 2001, when the firm designed ORNL’s 388,000 square foot East Campus Complex. Heery has since partnered with the National Laboratory on numerous projects, including the DOE’s Multi-Program Research Facility, a 218,000 square foot cutting edge, large scale secure science and technology center. Throughout the course of its 16-year working-relationship with ORNL, Heery has continued to push the envelope in what can be made possible at the Oak Ridge campus. The firm has since been retained by ORNL as the designer for Facility Upgrades associated with the OLCF-5 system, scheduled for installation in 2021. The OLCF-5 system is expected to delivery up to 1 exaflop (1000 Petaflops) of computational power. Exascale computing is a major scientific milestone and long range goal for ORNL and the Department of Energy.

A full-service architecture, engineering, interior design, construction management, and program management firm, Heery has 17 offices throughout the U.S. Founded in 1952, the firm consistently ranks annually among the top professional services firms by Engineering News-Record and Building Design + Construction and has over 75 industry design awards. The firm’s unique culture, known as The Heery Way, is integrated into each project and reflects a passion for the built environment and staying true to the client’s vision.

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