This month's issue of Laboratory Design Newsletter features our annual Laboratory of the Year winners. This year's winners include the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the Smithsonian Institute's Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) National Virology Center: The Plowright Building. The issue also visits the topics of trends in modern lab design, lab renovations and more.
Lab design is inordinately complex and often riddled with contradictions. So, when a lab must be...
Re-use, recycle, renovate or re-build—as architects and planners for higher education and...
JM Coull recently completed a 18-week, phased renovation of 6,500 sf of lab and office space in...
Riding a stretch of increasing levels of demand for 13 out of the last 15 months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped in April for the second month this year. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The Energy Sciences Building at Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility includes state-of-the-art lab space complete with energy-efficient fume hoods, floors made from post-consumer recycled content and countertops made from 100% recycled glass.
As a building type, labs have historically been the most energy-intensive facilities. This poses a tremendous challenge when designing lab buildings as net-zero energy consumers. A few prototype lab projects with net-zero energy intent do exist, usually with unique conditions of light lab programs and/or favorable climates.
For the second consecutive month, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicated a modest increase in design activity in March. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The landscape of lab design is rapidly changing, and labs themselves have changed drastically over the past few years. For instance, laptops and large monitors that facilitate spontaneous meetings and discussions are now in most labs. With the onset of lab design, before computers, the focus was on benches, fume hoods and workstations. But the way researchers work in labs has changed with the advent of the computer.
This month's issue of Laboratory Design Newsletter features articles on commissioning labs for energy savings, next-generation engineering labs, fast-track project delivery, incubator lab design, fire alarms in animal facilities, forensic lab design and more. The issue also includes news notes, new products and new projects.
Not long ago a prospective client called and asked if it would be feasible to incorporate a state-of-the-art, full-body research magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite into a new building. After a review of the finished building plans, we quickly determined not only was the building design not ideal for MRI use, but it would be impossible without extensive and expensive design changes.
The design of labs for sustainable construction and operation has become a major driver in the A/E/C industry over the past 10 to 15 years. These days, most lab clients are looking for sustainable design approaches at a minimum—and third-party certification, such as LEED, in many cases.
A well-designed lab facility will deliver a powerful combination of safety, functionality, efficiency and responsible use of resources. Most owners strive to achieve these goals in any new lab project or major renovation or addition. Performance can be documented by commissioning: third-party testing of the facility’s major mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems before a new or renovated project is turned over to the owner.
When done right, fast-track construction delivery methods can bring enormous benefits to the owner and the entire project team. They can significantly reduce the overall project design and construction schedule. Poor execution of a fast-track project will most certainly lead to problems, cost overruns, adversarial relationships and schedule delays.
After its first negative score in ten months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed a nominal increase in design activity in February, and has been positive 10 out of the past 12 months. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
Following a nine-month stretch of positive billings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed no increase in design activity in January. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
For so many clients, building new ground-up lab space isn’t an option. From an economic standpoint, the duration of new construction doesn’t serve the immediate need; and often, an appropriate site is unavailable. In our dense urban centers, the desire for researchers to be co-located with their peers and their heroes, makes the competition for space a real challenge.
Without substantial experience in Biosafety Level 3 work it can be easily underestimated just how much is involved in designing a BSL-3 facility. Design guidelines such as the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) list BSL-3/ABSL-3 design criteria that may appear as a deceptively simple upgrade to BSL-2; a good bit of reading between the lines is needed.
The 2015 Laboratory Design Conference is open for registration. Your opportunity to learn, network and participate in discussions about current and future trends in lab design is coming to Atlanta, April 27-29th. The countdown to the conference has begun, and here’s a countdown of reasons why you should be there.
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.
Commissioning has become an increasingly common practice. It’s essentially a formalized functional performance test of an entire building’s systems—a process that validates, verifies and documents the builder’s project objectives have been fully met. Simply put, commissioning independently confirms newly built, renovated or existing buildings work the way they’re supposed to.
The design of labs for sustainable construction and operation has become a major driver in the A/E/C industry over the past 10 to 15 years. Most large academic, government and corporate lab clients are looking for sustainable design approaches at a minimum, and third-party certification, such as LEED, in many cases.
“CH2M HILL’s all-round strength is an ideal match for customers wanting to drive value from solutions,” according to a new Green Quadrant report by Verdantix. Previously Verdantix has named CH2M HILL a leader in its Green Quadrant studies on U.S. Sustainability Consulting (May 2013), U.S. Environmental Services (May 2012) and U.S. Sustainable Engineering (Sept. 2010).
There were 10 out of 12 months of increasing demand for design services in 2014, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) points to a healthy outlook for the nonresidential construction industry. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
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.
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.
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 2014 I2SL Annual Conference was the 16th consecutive lab sustainability conference for high-tech facility engineers, architects, planners, developers, operators and owners. Formerly known as the Labs21 Annual Conference, the 2014 I2SL Annual Conference showcased the significant accomplishments and experiences of the high-tech facility industry by offering a variety of parallel technical tracks and symposia.
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.
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