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.
Laboratories are notorious for their extraordinary energy consumption, often using six to 10...
On September 19, 2014, the Smithsonian Institution opened the doors of its greenest building to...
In their 49th year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards continue to recognize excellence in...
Each year, many entries are entered into R&D Magazine’s Laboratory of the Year competition; but only a select few win. However, each entry exhibits trends in modern lab design. From flexibility to sustainability to collaboration, these trends showcase the best design options for lab facilities today and the future.
In “Modern trends in lab design” I’ve covered the latest trends in labs today. But what do architects foresee of future lab designs? And what issues still need to be addressed to make labs better for researchers and their research?
It’s easy to focus on the positive trends within lab design. The industry is full of buzzwords such as energy efficiency, sustainability, resiliency and collaboration. All these buzzwords truly are positive in building design and can lead to amazing and sexy architectural structures. However, not everything is positive in the industry.
The goal of any lab planner is to make labs as safe, functional and comfortable as possible. And one of the larger issues in regards to researchers’ comfort is lighting. However, not only is lighting a comfort issue in labs, but it’s also a sustainability issue.
Engineering education is experiencing a reinvention. More than ever before, colleges and universities are employing experiential learning paradigms to enhance and solidify learning, with curriculums being reinvented and tailored to maximize relevancy to industrial real-world needs.
Mother Nature makes it happen so effortlessly and efficiently: turning sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into the building blocks for fuel for plants, that is. Now, researchers have a new home to replicate Mother Nature’s mysteries. The Solar Energy Research Center opened at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and will house labs and offices devoted to photovoltaic and electrochemical solar energy systems.
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.
I recently returned from a trade show where a number of manufacturers showed me their high-performance (low-flow) fume hoods. There were claims of energy savings ranging from 40% to 80%. These savings sound great, but I had to ask myself: Does this really fit with my experience? Can we really get these kinds of savings just from using high-performance hoods?
Univ. of the Pacific recently completed renovations on a 395,000-sf, seven-story building located at 155 Fifth Street in San Francisco’s South of Market district. The new Univ. of the Pacific San Francisco Campus is home to the renowned Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, as well as other graduate programs in the fields of audiology, music therapy, data analytics and food studies.
Michaella Wittmann, HDR's director of sustainability, will serve a three-year term as chair of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)'s new Envision Review Board. The new board will oversee ongoing development of ISI's Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system, initially launched in 2012.
Perkins+Will announces the publication of Architecture’s New Edges by Global Sustainability Leader and Board Member Peter Busby. The book has been written for any reader fascinated by the ability of architecture to sustain the environment, rather than allowing the environment to sustain architecture.
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.
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.
The Midwest can boast of a new 60,000-sf crime lab (which shall remain unnamed). Designed by Crime Lab Design (CLD), this facility has been a long time coming, and is a good reminder of the virtue of patience. Even in good economic times, the facility would’ve faced two significant challenges to begin with: First, justifying the project to a wary state government; and second, securing funding from that government.
Sometimes just reading about great lab and building design isn’t enough. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the annual Laboratory Design Conference allows our attendees to view some of the most sexy, most well-planned and most sustainable labs there are in the host city.
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.
The typical lab building is an energy hog. These buildings house complex environments heavy on equipment and infrastructure and are regulated by strict code requirements. While the basics of green architecture create a strong backbone for sustainable lab environments, a truly successful green lab strategy strives to contribute to the occupants’ comfort while addressing a need for constant change, heavy energy usage and waste regulations.
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and Skanska announced a new U.S. partnership. With the partnership, Skanska has committed to aligning the delivery of heavy infrastructure civil projects with efforts to ensure the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the communities where they are built.
The idea of green and sustainable building isn’t a new one. In fact, the idea of using sustainable materials for building has been around for generations. But until recently, the goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification was retained for buildings that weren’t massively energy dependent.
Five years ago, it was revolutionary to put chilled beam heating and cooling in a lab; but now this hydronic form of sustainable HVAC is increasingly common in modern, sustainable lab settings. Chilled beams are operated where pipes of water are passed through a beam, or heat exchanger, either integrated into standard suspended ceiling systems or suspended a short distance from the ceiling of a lab.
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.
Labs use a lot of energy. What else is new? But how that energy is used is key to understanding opportunities for energy reduction. The energy genetics of a lab can vary depending on the program of the building. And energy programming helps firms map the energy DNA of the building in a way that’s specific to the program and climate.
Inadequate insulation is one of the largest causes of wasted energy, quickly allowing comfortable heating or cooling to disperse air outside. That’s why researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are collaborating with industry to develop a high-performance material that nearly doubles the performance of traditional insulators without a high cost premium.
It’s a well-known fact that labs consume four times more energy per square foot than a typical office building. And while ventilation and plug loads account for much of this energy use, proper design and detailing of building envelopes can have a significant impact on the energy demands of lab buildings.
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