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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

Tips for a resilient lab

August 28, 2015 9:12 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

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.

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The value of the post-occupancy evaluation

August 19, 2015 10:00 am | by Jennifer Mango, IIDA, ASID, Associate, Senior Interior Designer, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates (TK&A) | Comments

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.

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The computational research environment

August 17, 2015 1:30 pm | by Robert A. Carroll, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, Payette | Comments

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.

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Designing collaborative research partnerships

August 14, 2015 3:23 pm | by Anthony D. Paprocki, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate and Project Architect, Perkins+Will | Comments

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.

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Inspiring productive playgrounds

August 13, 2015 4:47 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Comments

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.

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Lab planning details matter

August 12, 2015 7:30 am | by Mark Paskanik, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, CRB | Comments

Many of us have had that “AHA!” moment or said “Why didn’t I think of that?” In a lab, even the smallest of details can have a big impact on efficiency. A good lab planner will listen to clients and researchers, and design a workspace specific to their needs. If a researcher is struggling to perform a particular task, making a change to the architectural details of the lab space can help improve productivity.

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2015 lab construction outlook

August 11, 2015 3:00 pm | by John Gering, AIA and Carlie Campesi | Comments

At the time this report was compiled in June 2015, construction costs continued to show an increase. Overall, costs have risen about 3% from 2014, and construction costs in the R&D sector have risen about 2.9% since January 2014. Construction costs are expected to rise around 3% during 2015, extending into year 2016.

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Benchmarking international interdisciplinary research facilities

August 11, 2015 12:47 pm | by Michael Reagan, AIA, VP and Science + Technology Market Sector Lead, Stantec | Comments

The interdisciplinary trend in research facilities isn’t limited to the U.S., and is evident in research facilities in other countries. This trend has resulted in a variety of diverse and technically complex research facilities, each responding to their own unique conditions and goals. Interdisciplinary research facilities are characterized by the colocation of diverse disciplinary research labs.

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Energy-efficient HVAC for labs in hot, humid climates

August 7, 2015 5:30 pm | by Dan Doyle, PE, LEED AP O+M, Grumman/Butkus Associates | Comments

Like modern medicine, efficient HVAC design for lab buildings is moving away from a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy toward solutions tailored to individual situations. In particular, site-sensitive lab design continues to gain traction, as owners and their design teams achieve a more sophisticated understanding of the available strategies.

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Clean, quiet and consistent: Design approaches for contemporary physics labs

August 7, 2015 2:00 pm | by Joseph Gibbons, Associate, Wilson Architects Inc. | Comments

Physics research facilities are equipment-driven, but can easily be classified by the typology of their environments. Traditionally, labs have been defined through independent performance criteria including clean-class, vibration and sound. Contemporary research includes equipment specified to operate through multiple specifications, and often beyond the capabilities of typical existing facilities.

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Lab project cost management: Owner’s viewpoint (Part 1)

August 7, 2015 11:00 am | by Paul Wilhelms, Life Sciences Practice Leader, Gensler | Comments

New approaches to cost management arise every decade. The latest, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), seeks to control cost by sharing risk among all the participants. After several notable attempts, IPD has lost steam due to the complexity and contractual issues that challenge the participants.

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2015 lab renovation construction outlook

August 6, 2015 11:11 am | by John Gering, AIA and Carlie Campesi | Comments

This report serves as a continuation of 2015 lab construction outlook, which reviewed new construction costs for lab buildings in the New York Tri-State Metropolitan Area. As gleaned from the title of this report, we will focus on renovation and small-scale refurbishment costs for lab buildings in the New York Tri-State Metropolitan Area in this continuation.

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Forensics lab design

August 5, 2015 12:30 pm | by Brian Holthaus, Senior Project Manager, JE Dunn Construction | Comments

For general contractors, building a forensics lab is as unique and complex as the work that goes on inside. Each department in a forensics facility has distinct requirements, so each becomes its own construction project. Learning the nuances involved in highly specialized scientific work requires the building owner, designer and GC communicate and collaborate on the project from the beginning.

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A lab focused on seeking justice

August 4, 2015 2:59 pm | by Craig Pickerel, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, SSOE Group | Comments

Words like latent print analysis and trace evidence analysis may sound like excerpts from an episode of CSI. And rightly so. These are two of the many services available at the new Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab. The facility, located on the campus of Bowling Green State Univ., provides lab and investigative services free of charge to Ohio’s criminal justice agencies.

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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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