The University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) established the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) to advance scientific discovery and state-of-the-art engineering and to further knowledge of computational modeling and simulation, taking full advantage of the computers operating at the tera scale and beyond at the National Center for Computational Sciences housed at ORNL. The Institute aims to educate a new generation of scientists and engineers in the application of computational modeling and simulation for solving the most challenging scientific and engineering problems.
The buildings were designed to blend with the surrounding community through size, shape, architecture, exterior finish, and landscaping. The landscaping and roofs were designed to reduce the buildings' contribution to the urban heat-island effect. Once the drought-tolerant landscaping is mature, it will require no irrigation.
Employees are encouraged to carpool or bike to work and are provided with bicycle storage areas, shower facilities and a number of reserved parking spots for carpool vehicles.
Materials were selected for their recycled content, low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), insulation value, and durability, in addition to the more traditional considerations of cost and aesthetic value. Carbon dioxide monitors and MERV 13 air filters ensure good indoor air quality.
The building envelope is well insulated and airtight. Efficient lights, occupancy sensors, Energy Star office equipment, and variable-frequency fan drives, among other technologies, keep energy use low.