Groundbreaking Ceremony Highlights

Uploaded by usnistgov on 12.05.2011

[ Music and Effects ]
Shyam Sunder: We're delighted you could join us today,
to mark the start of the construction of three new
and important facilities here at NIST:
the Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility,
the National Fire Research Laboratory,
and more than 2,000 grid-connected photovoltaic
panels that will supply electricity to the NIST campus.
We have a great lineup of speakers,
so I'd like to get us started by introducing Patrick Gallagher
who is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards
and Technology and the Director of NIST.
Since his confirmation as NIST's Director in November of 2009,
President Obama and Secretary
of Commerce Gary Locke have increasingly called
on Pat Gallagher and NIST to play critical roles in a number
of very visible standards and technology initiatives in areas
such as the Smart Grid, electronic health records,
green energy, cloud computing, and advanced manufacturing.
Doctor Gallagher.
[ Applause ]
Pat Gallagher, Director, NIST: Thank you, Shyam.
Thank you, Shyam, and hello to everybody.
Thank you for joining us today for this celebration event.
Let me first acknowledge the tremendous teamwork
that it takes to pull something like this off.
It starts with resources and support, so let me start
by thanking Team Maryland.
Our congressional delegation
in Maryland has played an enormously supportive
and positive role.
One person who is not here today is Senator Barbara Mikulski,
the captain of Team Maryland, our Senior Senator,
but her support has been absolutely instrumental
in making this happen.
So, I want to appreciate
that Kristen Soper is here from her staff.
[ Applause ]
We are also joined by Congressman Chris Van Hollen,
our own congressman who represents NIST.
[ Applause ]
As chairman of the House Budget Committee plays an incredibly
important role.
Ken Reichard is here as well,
from Senator Ben Cardin's office.
[ Applause ]
We also have Team Obama here,
so I want to thank Nancy Sutley for joining us.
She's the Chairwoman of the White House Council
on Environmental Quality.
[ Applause ]
And Henry Kelley, who is the Acting Assistant Secretary
for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
at the Department of Energy, is joining us today as well.
And then, of course, our neighborhood,
we have Team Montgomery County, so I want to thank Phil Andrews
and Nancy Floreen for joining us as well today.
[ Applause ]
I also want to acknowledge,
even though I can't single you all out, the enormous team
at NIST who has helped carry this off.
It takes an enormous amount of effort,
from the programmatic staff who dream these ideas up and carry
out these programs, to the contracting staff,
to the facilities management staff who help support all
of the activity that's here.
This wouldn't happen without probably everybody
in this room chipping in, and I want to acknowledge all
of the effort that you put in.
The Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility.
I was very excited when I saw this, because it's a house
and I thought they were building a director's house,
Shyam, I was very....
But it's a test facility
that will employ commercial technology in a design
that would fit in Montgomery County.
It will fit right in.
It's been designed to meet U.S. Green Building Councils' LEED
rating of platinum, which is the highest rating
for energy efficiency and environmental protection.
It will include state-of-the-art solar panels;
state-of-the-art heating, ventilation,
and air conditioning systems; a smart grid meter;
energy-efficiency lighting; advanced insulation;
and in addition to all of these remarkable components,
the facility is going to integrate them together
into an operating residence and provide a laboratory
where we can provide real data on how to operate these systems
to achieve these goals of a building that generates
as much energy as it uses-net zero energy, sustainable energy.
So while we innovate the new technologies here
to help achieve energy sustainability in our homes,
we're also going to be creating the construction industry
of the future.
The other facility we're here
to celebrate is the National Fire Research Laboratory.
This will more than double the capacity of NIST's ability
to study large-scale fire testing.
This will be operated as a public-private partnership.
The laboratory will allow us
to test very large engineering structures under realistic fire
and loading conditions, including those
that would simulate earthquake conditions.
It provides a sophisticated environmental control system
so that the emissions from these fire,
these test fires are both analyzed
and scrubbed before they are released.
And this is a facility that owes its beginnings back
to lessons learned out of the tragedy
of the World Trade Center, where understanding the performance
of large-scale structures
under fire conditions became very clearly,
the need for this became very apparent to all of us.
And I'm delighted that our past Drector,
Arden Bement, has joined us today.
Arden was the Director of NIST at that time
and played a key role in leading
and letting NIST play a lead role in that investigation.
So we're delighted to have you back, Arden, welcome.
[ Applause ]
And then finally, we have a project
to install an extensive array of solar panels around NIST.
These will be a very visible reminder of our commitment
to promote energy efficiency in the way we operate
as an agency here on this campus.
And I think with the facilities that we are starting today,
the Engineering Lab, which has this remarkable hundred-year
history of supporting what we build in the United States
in making it both resilient against disaster and safer
for human life and first responders
and energy efficient is only going to increase,
and at the same time, I think we can unleash an enormous economic
wave of improvement.
So I'm delighted that we're here today to celebrate this.
With that I'd like to introduce our next speaker,
Congressman Van Hollen, who is, this is part of his district,
and he has been an enormous supporter of NIST
since his election to Congress in 2002.
He is a ranking member on the House Budget Committee,
and he is a key member of the House Democratic Leadership.
And he's been a real partner with me in supporting NIST,
but he's also a passionate advocate for energy,
for the environment, for biotechnology, education,
things that really matter in this part,
and for growing American jobs through innovation.
So we're delighted to have you here.
Thank you, Chris.
[Applause] Chris Van Hollen: I just want to start
by thanking the entire NIST team for all you do.
Every time I'm up here, I'm impressed
with the work that's done.
And I must say, often makes my head spin.
I got up about through quantum mechanics,
and then I flamed out in physics.
But I've always had a deep interest in the kind of work
that is done here at NIST.
So I want to thank the NIST team
and everybody who's supporting the effort here at NIST
because it really does take a community to come together
to make sure that the United States remains
at the cutting edge of research and technology,
and that's what NIST is all about.
Speaking of clean energy and energy efficiency,
I'm very pleased that two of the initiatives we're talking
about today focus on that very significant, national effort.
As you know, two years ago, the Congress passed,
and then the President signed,
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
And it had two purposes.
One purpose was to stop an economy
that was in total free fall.
Its, you know, wasn't that long ago, two years,
when the economy was falling through the floor and we were,
GDP was not growing, and we were sinking
at the rate of 5.6 percent.
So one of the purposes of the Recovery Act was to try
and stop the free fall and begin to stabilize things.
And the good news is things have stabilized.
The economy is growing again.
Of course, the bad news is, it's not growing as fast
as we want it to be and there's still millions
of Americans who are out of work.
But it is moving in the right direction.
The second purpose was to make some very important investments
we need to make as a nation-not just to get ourselves
out of the current economic mess that we've been in,
but to really lay a foundation for the long term.
And that legislation contained a historic investment
in clean-energy technology,
and what we're seeing today is just a small,
but still very important piece of that overall national effort.
Shyam Sunder: We are pleased to, that Nancy Nancy Sutley,
chair of the Council on Environmental Quality,
could take time from the White House to join us today.
Nancy Sutley: The Council on Environmental Quality
and NIST have had a long partnership,
and we've worked together on a number of issues,
and you've been kind enough to lend us some staff,
so we very much appreciate it.
And we appreciate the great work that you do
on behalf of our country.
And I think when the President talked about the need
for the United States to out-innovate the rest
of the world, he was talking about NIST.
In the State of the Union, the President set a goal
to have 80 percent of America's electricity come
from clean sources by 2035, and he's proposed more
than $8 billion in the budget for clean-energy research
and development and to, and all of this to create the industries
and the jobs of the 21st century.
Including doubling investment in energy efficiency
and in industrial productivity and vehicle technology, research
and development for advanced batteries, building technology
and research and development,
the important work you're doing here at NIST on the Smart Grid,
all of this to cut our energy consumption.
And he's challenged our scientists and our engineers,
like the ones who work here at NIST, to invent
and develop the new technologies
that will meet our nation's energy challenge.
And you are meeting the President's charge.
The President believes that we are second to none,
and we should have the best and most advanced science
and technology to support the strongest, healthiest,
and most prosperous nation in the world.
Shyam Sunder: Our next speaker is Henry Kelley,
who is the Acting Assistant Secretary
and the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary
for the Department of Energy's Office
of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Henry Kelley: This is really a great moment.
We're focusing, of course, on technology for buildings,
which is probably one of the most underinvested in categories
of technologies in the country, but one of the most important.
It's certainly at the center of what we're trying to do
in energy and trying to meet environmental goals.
Something like 40 percent of all U.S. energy goes into buildings,
and over 72 percent
of all electricity is consumed in buildings.
It's a very big deal.
Data, of course, is key to all of this, and this,
in many of these building technologies,
has been a lot more enthusiasm than fact.
And one of the things that we're,
we have been very grateful for working with NIST
on is developing a set of metrology, of measurement tools,
of data gathering activities
that will help really guide the future of our research
and the performance of these systems
with incontrovertible evidence on the ground.
So we are...
The one thing that I was disappointed
in is apparently the teams were unable to come
up with a standard American family willing to live
in this house for months.
But they've had to resort to robots,
but this has been actually a very interesting
standards-making approach.
The robots are going to be talking to each other,
we're going to be talking to each other,
and very much look forward to future collaboration.
Shyam Sunder: Great to welcome back our next speaker,
Dr. Arden Bement, to NIST.
Dr. Bement served as NIST director from 2001 through 2004
and during the period immediately following the
9-11 attacks.
Arden Bement: Funding for better research facilities
to study heat-release rates and fire spread in buildings,
and support the design of more energy-efficient buildings were
not so easy for NIST to obtain in the past.
Fire and building programs were generally underappreciated
by appropriators prior to 9-11.
I believe that NIST's role in investigating the collapse
of the World Trade Center buildings,
its role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction
Program, and the increasing frequency of extreme events,
has increased the attention of policy makers to this need.
In closing, I tip my hat to Pat Gallagher and Shyam Sunder
for the addition of these new facilities
to the Gaithersburg campus.
I also want to recognize the members of Congress
on budget committees and appropriation committees.
[ Laughter ]
Again, I wish to thank Shyam for his invitation
to attend this auspicious ceremony.
Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
[ Music ]