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The increasing significance of thermal bridging in lab building envelopes

March 31, 2014 | by Andrea Love, AIA, LEED AP and Charles Klee, AIA, LEED AP | Comments

For a long time, the thermal performance of façades in research buildings has been undervalued because of the large volumes of air being moved through the space. Using the arsenal of strategies currently available to lab designers, air volumes in many contemporary research labs have been reduced to the minimums needed to maintain health and safety.

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Laboratory Design Connection

The next generation of integrated research facilities

March 31, 2014 1:42 pm | by Michael J. Reagan RA, AIA, NCARB and David R. Linamen PE, CEM, LEED AP | Comments

Most contemporary research facilities must be flexible, functional and economical to construct and operate. Current economic pressures have added an additional emphasis on high utilization, operational efficiency and energy conservation. Where previous research facilities were often dedicated to a specific research type, the next generation of research facilities must integrate a variety of science disciplines.

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Designing labs for lean operation

March 31, 2014 12:36 pm | by Tanya Scharton-Kersten and Tom Reynolds | Comments

The design, layout and placement of labs have a significant impact on lab processes, behaviors and communications. A “good” design will proactively support lean processes—including flow, visual management, standard work and excellence in workplace organization—whereas a “bad” design may create waste and make flow more difficult.

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ESD control flooring in the lab

March 31, 2014 10:53 am | by Erik S. Van Anglen | Comments

Many lab processes require the engineered control of electrostatic discharges (ESD) to prevent damage to electrically sensitive equipment and analytic processes, as well as to prevent fire or explosion when handling flammable liquids, powders and gases. Static charges are the result of triboelectric charging of dissimilar materials, such as clothing against skin and shoe soles on the floor surface.

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Eight reasons to attend the Lab Design Conference

February 18, 2014 10:47 am | by Patrice Galvin | Comments

The Laboratory Design Conference is only a month away. Time is running out to reserve your space at this annual, highly regarded event.                                           

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Remaking the engineering building: Repositioning strategies for success

February 12, 2014 12:26 pm | by Victor J. Cardona, AIA and Christopher P. Vanneste | Comments

Borrowing a page from a playbook more familiar to real estate turnaround experts, a number of research-based institutions are talking today about how they are “repositioning” their engineering facilities. The approach— sometimes part of an overhaul extending into various departments—is seen as a way to remake existing, purpose- built centers to better serve today’s research activities and student-centered academics.

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Where does all this stuff go…and how do we get it there? Planning for successful lab equipment moves

February 10, 2014 11:54 am | by Erik Lustgarten, AIA, LEED AP | Comments

My thesis project in architecture school was a lab building with high-tech glass and metal façades, artfully composed pipes and ventilation stacks, vibrant colors and natural light cascading through the lab and social spaces. We were taught to design human-scaled, livable spaces for people. Little did I know that as I progressed in my career I would be increasingly designing labs for refrigerators, analytical equipment and robots.

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Big 10 to Big 3: How a new building is redefining research, collaboration and resource management at Univ. of Minn.

February 10, 2014 11:37 am | by Gregory Cha Fong, AIA | Comments

Long committed to the advancement of health sciences, the Univ. of Minnesota has a legacy of pioneering biomedical research and discovery. Its Academic Health Center comprises one of the largest, most comprehensive health centers in the country, incorporating six professional schools, five allied health programs and 15 interdisciplinary centers.

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Lab vacuum and sustainable design: Issues and opportunities

February 10, 2014 11:07 am | by Peter Coffey, Vacuubrand | Comments

The United Nations defines sustainable development as meeting “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” When applied to lab planning and construction, sustainability includes: the efficient use of energy; the careful use of water using only what’s needed; adaptability to future needs and reducing pollution.

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Where all labs are created equal: Science lab design standards create consistency

February 10, 2014 10:53 am | by Burcin Moehring and Douglas Ogurek | Comments

City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) stands among the largest community college systems in the U.S. Each year, its seven campuses combine to serve over 120,000 students. Construction is constant. Different projects. Different architects. With such a high level of building activity, how can the district maintain equity at its campuses?

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Setting the stage for a successful handoff

January 31, 2014 1:35 pm | by Erik Lustgarten, AIA, LEED AP | Comments

One of the toughest transitions in delivering any construction project is making the handoff from construction to occupancy. To avoid frustration and make a smooth transition requires active tracking and management of cost and schedule, formalized processes for maintaining and assuring quality and an organized compilation of the information that will be required to operate and maintain the facility.

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FAQs about images and captions for Lab of the Year entries

January 13, 2014 12:09 pm | by Patrice Galvin, editor | Comments

Well-done images are an important part of a Lab of the Year entry. In addition to photographs, floorplans, elevations, and before and after shots add to the story. Here some FAQs on how to make the most of the images and captions.

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High-performance teaming facilitates construction and on-time delivery for complex lab project

December 5, 2013 2:14 pm | by Craig Swenson | Comments

When the Univ. of California, San Diego (UCSD) embarked on the construction of its 196,000-sf Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility, the priority was to support collaborative teamwork and a “project-first” approach to delivering an on-time, high-quality, high-performance building that met LEED certification goals.

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Chilled beams for lab applications

December 5, 2013 2:04 pm | by Drew Elsberry, LEED AP | Comments

Today, more than ever, efforts are being made to find better ways of reducing energy consumption. Whether it’s in our homes or where we work, what we drive or how we live, it’s both to our financial benefit and our environmental responsibility to do things more efficiently. Lab cooling is no different.

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Maximizing efficiency by design

December 5, 2013 1:53 pm | Comments

The Agensys campus is a consolidation of four different sites throughout the city of Santa Monica in one research campus. The facility consists of flexible research labs, support spaces, manufacturing research, a GMP facility, a pilot plant, a central plant, administrative offices, a fitness center, a public café, a sculpture garden and a conferencing center.

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Sustainable renovation in energy-intensive lab while improving EH&S: Otto Maass Chemistry Building, McGill Univ.

December 5, 2013 1:39 pm | by Pierre-Luc Baril, LEED AP BD+C | Comments

The Otto Maass Building, built in 1964 and located on the McGill Univ. campus in downtown Montreal, is dedicated to education and research in chemistry. The total gross floor area is 140,000 sf of which 60% are labs. With an average fume hood density of around ten chemical fume hoods per 5,000 sf, this building was, in 2008, the biggest energy user of the campus.

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