Massachusetts Institute of Technology has unveiled plans to invest $350m in the construction of a new building at Cambridge campus, which will create space for nanoscale research.
The 200,000ft² building named MIT.nano is expected to be in operational by 2018. It will house cleanroom laboratories and imaging and prototyping facilities, which will be equipped with research-based nanoscale materials and processes in the field of energy, health, life sciences, quantum sciences, electronics and manufacturing.
Construction of the four-storey MIT.nano will begin in summer 2015 and will replace the existing Building 12, after its demolition in spring 2015.
MIT.nano will have two interconnected floors of cleanroom laboratories with fabrication spaces and materials growth laboratories.
Additionally, the building will include the quietest space on campus; a floor built to minimise vibration and electromagnetic interference for advanced imaging technologies, and a floor with teaching laboratory space.
The building will also house a teaching and research space, a computer-aided visualization environment (CAVE), which will allow high-resolution views of nanoscale features.
Designed by Wilson Architects of Boston, the building features extensive use of glass walls that allow views of lab and cleanrooms, and soaring lobbies and other common areas, as it is located at a major crossroads of the campus.
MIT.nano will also be interconnected with neighbouring buildings and will be easily accessible from MIT's Infinite Corridor.
MIT campus engineering and construction director Richard Amster, who partnered with MIT's sustainability director Julie Newman, said MIT.nano will incorporate many energy-saving features.
It will use heat-recovery systems on the building's exhaust vents, which will allow it to sense the local cleanroom environment and adjust the need for air exchange, thus reducing MIT.nano's energy consumption.
MIT electrical engineering professor, MIT.nano project faculty lead and School of Engineering associate dean Vladimir Bulovic said an estimated 2,000 MIT researchers may ultimately make use of the building.
MIT president L Rafael Reif said MIT.nano will sit at the heart of their campus central to fulfilling MIT's mission in research, education and impact.
"The capabilities it provides and the interdisciplinary community it inspires will keep MIT at the forefront of discovery and innovation, and give us the power to solve urgent global challenges," Reif said.
Image: Aerial view of MIT.nano building at the Cambridge campus. Photo: courtesy of Wilson Architects.