Primary Standards Lab (PSL), Sandia National Laboratory
US Dept of Energy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Architecturally-integrated electromagnetic shielding: 60 dB for 27,000 sq ft of lab space
 --THC Photo by Jim Howland

The Primary Standards Lab (PSL) is one of the nation's leading metrology laboratories. The PSL is accredited over a broad range of parameters by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) as a calibration laboratory. The lab provides facilities for dimensional, dc/low frequency, rf/microwave, mechanical, thermodynamic, ionizing radiation, optical radiation, and time and frequency measurements. The building also has support areas for training, conferences, collaboration with industry partners and other government agencies, and work space for staff, visiting researchers, and educators.

The PSL's lab facilities occupy 22,800 square feet. These sections of the building are isolated from the outside environment by electromagnetic shielding, isolated building foundations, and highly specialized temperature and humidity control systems.

The Howland Company designed the PSL's architecturally-integrated electromagnetic shielding. We developed shield penetration detail drawings for HVAC, plumbing & fire protection, power, telephone, and control lines and wrote the construction specifications for the shielding work. We worked with the architect and construction contractor to arrange a construction sequence that would allow efficient in-process testing of the shielding as the facility was being built. Finally, we prepared shielding effectiveness test plan and procedure documentation, then conducted the testing and submitted preliminary and final test reports.

Additional Information:


Below: workers completing the shielding work on the building's
roof (left), and an aerial view of the completed facility (right).

Architecturally integrated RF shielding: roof decking modified to provide 60dB shielding effectivenss
 --THC Photo by Ray Howland   Primary Standards Lab, aerial view
 --Image from Bing Maps