Most architects who design labs have considerable experience and knowledge, but some projects have special needs or functions, or require that a program be fully defined before an architect is engaged. There are also an increasing number of projects for which an organization wants a “signature” architect for the sake of marketability and institutional recognition, but these well-known architects aren’t necessarily experienced in lab design.
There has been much speculation about what the academic scientific workplace of the future will...
With 48% of the world’s energy consumed by buildings, and labs near the top of the consumption...
Translational research is a paradigm for research designed to enable innovative thinking by leveraging the benefits of collaboration. The term first emerged in the mid-1990s in reference to cancer studies spanning basic science and clinical research. Over the last two decades, the definition of translational research has broadened and evolved through continuous analysis, debate and reinterpretation.
One of the perennial questions in the lab design conversation is “what’s the future of the research lab?” One viewpoint on this issue is the research lab environment will become more “polarized”. In other words, the generic research lab will become more generic, and the specialized research lab spaces will become more specialized and idiosyncratic.
It’s not unusual for architects and developers to be faced with tight time constraints, but occasionally the timeframe goes beyond tight. Completing a project on an extremely accelerated schedule presents many challenges, all of which can be daunting even to highly experienced teams.
Lab design has experienced a surge of high design in recent years. As a parallel, the perception of “mad scientists” reclusively tinkering in hidden lairs has shifted. Today, the expanding climate of scientific discovery demands researchers collaborate and engage more with society and nature.
Specifications for wall options in vivarium use are driven by several factors. Foremost, understanding the use and intent of the space is critical to achieving the design goals. Many criteria drive the choices of wall finishes, but comprehensive understanding of the options available is essential to a successful project.
With the recent news about Ebola, MERS, extremely drug-resistant TB and other emerging and re-emerging diseases, the world-wide need for high-containment laboratories is at an all-time high. These laboratories are highly complex buildings that serve as a barrier between the dangerous pathogens handled in the laboratory and the surrounding environment.
The 50,000-sf New Technology and Learning Center for Bristol Community College, Fall River, Mass., brings together disparate programs—chemistry, biology, medical and dental education—holding energy-dense uses, including 18 fume hoods, high plug loads and specific ventilation and lighting requirements.
Throughout the past 15 years, an emphasis on energy-efficient lab operations has become a major influence in lab design. This fact is driven by a number of forces, from practical considerations surrounding operational costs, to policy issues related to sustainable development and carbon reduction.
Sustainable design has grown in prominence in recent years as most projects aspire to some level of environmentally conscious design. Research institutions now recognize the significant environmental impacts of their lab facilities, and owners are willing to think creatively to reduce resource utilization, improve interior environments and save capital costs.
Trend watchers note flexibility has become the new buzzword for research-bay design. At the same time, there’s a great deal of confusion as to what flexibility means. Among some client groups, the term mistakenly refers to lab space that can be setup within a commercial office building lacking the infrastructure typically needed for vent hoods, cleanrooms and the like.
The recently designed Univ. of Colorado Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC) implemented a Konvekta intelligent high-efficiency heat-recovery system with MeeFog direct evaporative cooling. Labs typically implement one of four systems including run-around loops, energy-recovery wheels, refrigerant heat pipes or plate heat exchangers.
It’s no secret lab facilities carry the burden of a large energy demand. Reasons for this high demand include the significant plug loads of specialized lab equipment, the high ventilation air change rates often implemented in lab spaces and the large volumes of hazardous exhaust air that must be moved out of the building.
Labs are far more energy intensive than typical commercial buildings, but not all labs consume energy for the same reasons. Most available design guidance for labs provides a list of energy-efficiency strategies that include reducing design air change rates, decoupling cooling and ventilation systems and employing variable-air-volume fume hoods.
Nearly 40% of the total U.S. energy consumption in 2012 was consumed by residential and commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While each building is a consumer of energy, they also contain energy resources that are under-utilized or not even considered as energy resources.
The 50,000-sf New Technology and Learning Center (NTLC) for Bristol Community College (BCC) in Fall River, Mass., brings together currently disparate programs from across campus, including chemistry, biology and medical and dental education. It holds an energy-dense program, including 22 fume hoods, high plug loads and specific ventilation and lighting requirements.