Rocky Flats Plant, Standards Laboratory
HAER No. CO-83-AD
(Rocky Flats Plant, Building 125)
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Highway 93, Golden, Jefferson
County, Colorado. Building 125 is located immediately north of the 215A water tower and
adjacent to Third Street.
This building is a secondary contributor to the Rocky Flats Plant
historic district, associated with the U.S. strategy of nuclear military
deterrence during the Cold War, a strategy considered of major importance in preventing
Soviet nuclear attack. Building 125 was constructed in the mid-1960s, and was one of four
service laboratories at the plant. The primary function of the Standards Laboratory was to
ensure and implement a system of quality control for incoming materials used in
Building 125 houses the Standards Laboratory, offices for Metrology
Laboratory management personnel, and the Metrology Systems Group. The Standards
Laboratory, a function of Metrology, is comprised of several component labs, including
physical, dimensional, chemical, and electrical. The Standards Laboratory provides
National Institute of Standards and Technology traceable calibration equipment and
standards for the Measurements and Test Group.
The Standards Laboratory is a one-story, rectangular-shaped, steel-framed,
prefabricated building with a 6-inch slab-on-gravel foundation. Outside dimensions
measure 90 by 143 feet (12,870 square feet). The overall building height is 16 feet from slab to
roof. The exterior walls are sandwich-type metal-on-glass fiber insulation. The interior
walls have dropped ceilings and are constructed of concrete block, gypsum board, or
stainless steel/polystyrene panels. Windows, on the east side only, are fixed,
multi-paned, with metal sash. The roof is metal with a medium pitched gable. The
boundaries for Building 125 are generally defined by the exterior walls of the facility.
Specific work areas include Rooms 104, 105, 110, and 111 (laboratory and calibration
areas). Rooms 115, 116, 117, 118, and 119 represent modulabs or specialized
labs that required precise climate controls. Support areas include Rooms 103 (computer
room), 109 (receiving/shipping and storage), and 125 (utility/service area). Door 1,
located on the north end of the building, serves as the normal egress and entrance for the
building. On the south exterior, there is a concrete pad with a steel supported roof over
the exterior of doors 2 and 3 of Room 109. This area is used to store flammable materials
in fire resistant storage cabinets. A system of monorails is used to move materials in and
out of Room 109.
Utilities, located on the western exterior of the building, include domestic water,
fire protection water, steam, telecommunications, drain systems, and electrical power.
Equipment includes the fire protection water standpipe, an evaporative cooler, electrical transformers, and an
air conditioning unit.
Building 125, Standards Laboratory, is one of four main service
laboratories at the Rocky Flats Plant. The other service laboratories include: Building
123, the Health Physics Laboratory; Building 559, the Plutonium Laboratory; and the
General Laboratories contained in Building 881.
The primary function of the Standards Laboratory is to ensure and implement a system of
quality control for incoming materials used in manufacturing processes. The Standards
Laboratory is used to prepare stock solutions for the other labs, and to perform analyses
on incoming radiological sources for quality assurance/quality control purposes.
Calibration and standardization of equipment is also performed to assure that operations
are in accordance with manufacturer specifications. One section of the lab certifies
dimensional measurements such as length, angles, and roundness of equipment. Occasionally
the lab acted as a referee when discrepancies arose regarding dimensional measurements of
nonnuclear product. In those instances, the nonnuclear component in question was
transferred to the lab for final measurement.
Construction of Building 125 began during the second phase of expansion, occurring
between the years 1964–65. Eleven buildings were built during this time period and
included research/development laboratories, guard houses, and waste water facilities.
Actual construction of Building 125 began around 1965; two later additions were added in
the late 1960s to the southern end of the building.
Colorado Department of Health. Project Tasks 3
& 4 Final Draft Report. Reconstruction of Historical Rocky Flats Operations and
Identification of Release Points (1992), by ChemRisk. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden,
Hahn, Jim, employed at the plant since 1978 by the site contractor, personal
communication, November 18, 1997.
United States Department of Energy. Historical Release Report
(HRR) (1994), by EG&G. Rocky Flats Plant Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1994.
United States Department of Energy. Final Cultural Resources Survey Report (1995), by Science Applications International Corporation. Rocky Flats Repository.
Golden, Colorado, 1995.
D. Jayne Aaron, Environmental Designer, engineering-environmental
Management, Inc. (e2M), 1997. Judith Berryman, Ph.D., Archaeologist, e2M,
Index to Photographs
Located immediately north of the 215A water tower and adjacent to Third Street, Golden Vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado.
Photograph CO-83-AD-1 was taken by Rockwell International on October 20, 1987.
CO-83-AD-1 – View of the interior of Building 125, the Standards Laboratory. The primary function of the Standards Laboratory was to ensure and implement a system of quality control for incoming materials used in manufacturing processes. Several engineering controls were used to ensure accuracy of the calibration processes;, including flex-free granite tables, air-locked doors, temperature controls, and a super-clean environment.