Project Management

2012 PMI Project of the Year Award Finalist: Lab On the Move

Keith Jackson II

Securing buy-in from a lone stakeholder group can be difficult enough. But when the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) launched a project to move its facilities, yet retain its science and technology capabilities in Richland, Washington, USA, it had to engage three high-profile government stakeholders and its own staff of scientists.

PNNL conducts a wide scope of work, from sensitive national-security efforts for protecting the borders of the United States to research on complex scientific questions such as dark matter.

Such cutting-edge work requires a lot of space. PNNL had been occupying 16 facilities covering nearly 550,000 square feet (51,097 square meters). But a 2004 environmental remediation agreement put PNNL’s ability to meet its mission obligations at risk. One-half of the research laboratory space— home to hundreds of employees and their equipment— was marked for demolition.

“This project was extremely important for the future of the laboratory,” says Angus Bampton, PMP, senior project manager in PNNL’s Strategic Projects Division. “It was possible that without this move, the national laboratory would have ceased to exist.”

With PNNL’s very existence hanging in the balance, the team embarked on a project to save the national laboratory—without disrupting the valuable research …

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