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Commissioning for the greater building good

February 23, 2015 | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

A buzzword thrown around in lab design is commissioning. But truly how important is this process to meeting end goals? My answer: extremely. Building commissioning is the process of verifying, in new construction, all building subsystems to achieve an owner’s project requirements as intended by the building owner and as designed by the building architects and engineers.

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Laboratory Design Connection

A visual display of graphene

July 27, 2015 3:45 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Graphene, a 2-D carbon material, was first isolated in a lab in 2003 by researchers Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim at the Univ. of Manchester. The two went on to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Now heralded as a “wonder” material for its superior properties of strength, conductivity, stiffness and transparency, graphene is sought for many applications, including electronics, energy and medicine.

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A new lab model

July 24, 2015 11:45 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

Almost every day, whether it’s on a corporate, hospital or academic campus, we hear the phrase “next generation lab.” For certain, science, medicine and the pharmaceutical industry are changing rapidly and the buildings where their research and collaboration happen need to evolve as well. So what are the changes we can anticipate?

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Standalone lab science building for hot and humid climates

July 22, 2015 3:12 pm | by Kannan Rengarajan, PE and Lutfi Mized, PE | Comments

This paper will outline the features of one of the most recent research labs built as part of the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 2014. This science lab was built to conduct experiments on various species to understand their performance both on Earth and in Space under different environmental conditions.

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To measure, not model

July 20, 2015 6:30 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

In the world of science, both estimation and measurement have their place. Estimation is characterized by speed, moderate-to-low cost and reasonable accuracy. Measurement is characterized by longer durations and moderate-to-high cost and brings benefits of more thorough analysis with largely guaranteed results.

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Adaptive reuse meets modern labs

July 20, 2015 12:15 pm | by Brandy Goffinet, RID, LEED AP BD+C and Lea Anne Leatherwood, AIA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, Perkins+Will | Comments

In today’s economic climate, there’s a growing interest from research organizations and universities to renovate existing buildings into modern lab spaces. Contributing factors for this include a decrease in grants for research funding, restricted capital budgets and the intrinsic value of sustainability.

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Advances in networked creativity on campus

July 17, 2015 5:30 pm | by David Levo, AICP, Associate Principal, Perkins Eastman | Comments

Much has been written about the shift from yesterday’s industrial economy to today’s service economy and tomorrow’s creative economy. American cities have physically seen firsthand what these changes have meant—from the rusted-out cities of the Midwest to exorbitantly priced global leaders such as San Francisco and New York.

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Finding the ideal lab module in existing buildings

July 17, 2015 1:30 pm | by Dave Pawlak, AIA, Architect and Ron Blanchard, AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Payette | Comments

The lab module is the backbone to any lab space. It defines the parameters from the outset, and provides the armature for architects and lab planners for developing layouts based on user criteria. In new buildings, designers often have the freedom to influence the structural grid to achieve a desired module, allowing ultimate flexibility from the start.

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Challenges of renovation in science and technology projects

July 16, 2015 1:30 pm | by Jay Epstein, AIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman | Comments

Renovations must play a large part in any successful science and technology design practice. At some point, all clients need to grow their programs and staff or adapt to new research and testing methodologies and technologies. Typically, this must occur within their existing building stock; new construction isn’t always the first or available choice for science and technology clients.

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Why do chemical quantities matter, and what’s a lab planner's responsibility?

July 16, 2015 10:00 am | by Greg Muth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates | Comments

On every lab project, at some point in the design process, someone asks the question: "what chemicals will these guys use?" It seems like a simple question; but it's actually quite a complicated issue, and it can have significant consequences.

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BIM: Essential for quick completion of residential, commercial building projects

July 14, 2015 2:04 pm | by Bhagwati Pathak, CAD Services | Comments

The 21st century has witnessed a large amount of technological advancements which are accountable for bringing tremendous comfort to human life. There's no denying the fact technology has truly become the part and parcel of our daily life. In today’s time we can't imagine ourselves without cell phones, as they are the most suitable tools used for interpersonal communication.

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Conventional lab design doesn’t compute

June 25, 2015 12:00 pm | by Andy Snyder, Principal Architect, NBBJ | Comments

When people think of labs, they typically imagine the traditional wet lab: high benches arranged in orderly rows, stocked with beakers and test tubes, with sinks and heavy equipment within arm’s reach. But now, as big data and computation change the nature of discovery and processes for research, it’s time to holistically rethink the configuration of the lab environment.

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Three tips to consider when designing a sustainable lab

June 24, 2015 1:03 pm | by Samantha Hale | Comments

There are many ways to design a sustainable lab, but the success depends on how a researcher gives meaning to the word “sustainable.” For some, sustainable can mean installing green equipment that minimizes the carbon footprint that humans leave. To others, everything must be LEED certified. While for the rest, sustainability simply means reducing operating costs.

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Cognitive design: Environments for neuroscience research

June 15, 2015 1:30 pm | by Ed Cordes, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Perkins+Will | Comments

We are at a unique moment in the world’s scientific enterprise; our collective knowledge base, coupled with new technological capabilities and a robust coordinated and focused funding stream, is supporting significant advances in our understanding of how the human brain works.

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Science on display: Making specialty labs visible

June 15, 2015 8:48 am | by Matthew Fickett, AIA, LEED AP, Payette | Comments

A first priority of a lab is the ability to complete scientific research. To put it another way: The lab must allow the work to be done safely; it must meet the basic physical parameters needed, contain the equipment, accommodate the researchers and even provide a comfortable and attractive space in which to operate.

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Monitoring lab energy usage

June 11, 2015 4:30 pm | by Chuck McKinney, VP, Strategic Accounts, Aircuity Inc., Newton, Mass. | Comments

Laboratories are notorious for their extraordinary energy consumption, often using six to 10 times the amount of energy of a normal office facility. As more and more attention is given to reduce lab energy use, it becomes increasingly more important to understand the energy drivers in labs to better target energy-conservation measures and improve occupant behaviors.

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