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University of Tennessee

Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM), Phases I and II

Knoxville, TN

Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM), Phases I and II

At the University of Tennessee Research Park at Cherokee Farm, Barber McMurry designed the first advanced research facility, the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials. The building is the result of a partnership between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.

Its design sets the architectural tone for other structure on the research campus. The exterior reflects the building's mission of cutting-edge scientific progress while respecting a prominent historic neighborhood that lies across the river. BMA carefully considered building materials and colors, as well as the orientation of the buildings so that the short end faces the neighborhood. This, and a color palette that blends with the agrarian nature of the sight, lessens the visual impact of Joint Institute — yet distinctive materials, including brick, zinc, copper, glass and aluminum — lend a distinctive and beautiful aesthetic.

The JIAM facility was founded by the University of Tennessee and ORNL. ICT provided mechanical, plumbing, and fire protection design services for new construction for this 140,000 SF building housing research labs and offices on the Cherokee Farm site. The project includes a 1000-ton chiller plant, gas-fired heating plant, central lab fume hood exhaust system, perchloric fume hood exhaust system, helium reclaim system, and critical HVAC systems for cleanrooms housing Transmission Electron Microscope System (TEMS). Phase II design consists of systems served through originally unfinished labs. 


  • LEED Silver
  • 21.92% of the total building materials content has been manufactured using recycled materials.
  • High-SRI (solar reflective index) pavement and roofing reduce the overall heat gain and reduce cooling costs.
  • Parking lot is paved with permeable pavement to reduce run off waste.


142,000 SF


UTK Division of Facilities Planning & Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Advanced Material Architects JV, BarberMcMurry Architects, Bullock Smith & Partners, Inc.


LEED® NC Silver