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.
Flexibility in research labs has been a universal goal in recent years. Components that...
The typical lab building is an energy hog. These buildings house complex environments heavy on...
At the 2015 Laboratory Design Conference two distinct themes arose: 1) new development of new lab buildings is slowing, resulting in more reuse and alteration projects to existing labs; and 2) daylight and vertical integration is a leading desire for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.
If you’re a life-long scientist, you know the realities of many labs: cold lighting, stuffy bench space, isolation from the outside world. Even when “outside” means simply the R&D team in the next room over, the separation can make life in the lab feel disconnected.
What you see is what you get. And in the world of architecture, architects and lab designers are starting to get more sustainable strategies right in lab settings. By assessing the true issues seen in labs and counteracting them with the correct technologies and strategies, labs have become more sustainable than ever. Yet, further steps can be taken.
In today’s lab world, most people are aware of the amount of air they use in their labs. Along with this well-known fact, lab owners and users both know the use of air in a lab environment is the single biggest issue with energy consumption, and that labs are energy hogs. With these realizations, lab owners and users must find one or more strategies to fix this issue, and do so fast.
When working with valuable cell cultures, contaminating microorganisms, especially mycoplasma species, can be detrimental to the accuracy of resulting data, while introducing a potential hazard to lab personnel. Fortunately, the biological safety cabinet (BSC) provides a ventilated sterile work environment in which to safely handle biological samples, protecting both the cultures and users from hazardous particles.
We all hear about mergers. They happen every day in the business world. The main purpose of these mergers is to build a better product or business. The same is true in the lab design world, where combining two unlikely lab settings into one can help spur innovation and research.
Science instruction for higher education has transformed in the last 10 to 15 years. This transformation is evident in the shifted focus from a single-source teaching modality (teacher to student) to a more open learning-centric environment, where students often work in small groups to research topics and independently find solutions to a scientific query.
What is going on in the scientific workplace today? Innovation is the buzzword in today’s workplace, and the consensus seems to be collaboration is key. So walls are coming down, private offices are disappearing and workplaces resemble cafes with white boards. This is possible because we are wireless and can work anywhere and anytime.
From biomedical engineering to material sciences, nanoscale fabrication and metrology capabilities have become a requirement for institutions to participate in world-class research. Cleanrooms almost always have the largest impact on cost and schedule in terms of construction and operation for a lab project.
Water conservation is all but ignored in a majority of labs, even those certified as “green.” This sad but true fact means water conservation falls at the bottom of many lab and architects’ lists when thinking about sustainability or conservation measures for a lab.
It’s no secret to the public that extreme weather and environmental issues are disrupting utility services and increasing flooding. The recent example being Hurricane Sandy, where power was lost for over a week in certain Tri-State areas and important buildings such as research labs and hospitals were flooding, and precious research was lost.
Multiple considerations must be prioritized throughout the design process: client goals, function, efficiency, cost, branding and flexibility are a few of the many factors that influence a final design outcome. Understanding which variables provide the greatest value to the client is critical in the design of a successful and sustainable facility.
Over the past decade, the number of computational research environments colleges and universities require is changing the way we plan and organize research buildings. Until recently, computational research space was treated like an accessory to the traditional lab. This occurred because researchers spent the majority of their time in their lab and only a fraction of their time in write-up areas.
With today’s grant funding limitations and the decline in basic research activities conducted by private R&D labs, academic-industry research partnerships are emerging as an appealing solution to provide a faster means of translating ideas into the marketplace. These relationships help strengthen the link between discovery research and applied science, offering significant benefits to both parties in the process.
Branding a lab is one way to make labs into “productive playgrounds”, or places that inspire and energize people, while becoming a home for scientific research. These productive playgrounds are serious places where innovation and creativity are nurtured.