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The Lead

Closing in on net-zero energy for labs

May 19, 2015 9:46 am | by Arlen Li, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Payette | Articles | Comments

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.

Between lab to factory: A new model for research in advanced manufacturing

May 14, 2015 1:12 pm | by Paul Harney, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Perkins+Will | Articles | Comments

The competitiveness of U.S. high-technology manufacturing in the global marketplace has become...

The myth of low-flow fume hoods

May 13, 2015 1:40 pm | by Greg Muth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates | Articles | Comments

I recently returned from a trade show where a number of manufacturers showed me their high-...

Univ. of the Pacific San Francisco Campus provides world-class learning, clinic environments

May 7, 2015 2:40 pm | by SmithGroupJJR | News | Comments

Univ. of the Pacific recently completed renovations on a 395,000-sf, seven-story building...

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Morgan State Univ. celebrates groundbreaking of new academic and research facility

May 7, 2015 2:12 pm | by HOK | News | Comments

Community leaders and politicians joined Morgan State Univ. (MSU) staff and faculty to break ground on the HOK-designed Martin D. Jenkins Behavioral and Social Sciences Center (BSSC) in Baltimore. The 148,000-sf facility is part of MSU’s West Campus Expansion Initiative and is scheduled for summer 2017 completion.

HDR’s Wittmann to chair new review board for ISI

May 7, 2015 1:47 pm | by HDR | News | Comments

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

May 7, 2015 12:11 pm | by Perkins+Will | News | Comments

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.

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U.S. DOE adds two years to AECOM-led joint venture contract at Savannah River

May 7, 2015 12:06 pm | by AECOM | News | Comments

AECOM announced that the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Savannah River Operations Office in Aiken, S.C., has extended the current liquid-waste-management contract with AECOM-led Savannah River Remediation LLC for an additional two years. This $797-million extension will run from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017.

ABI accelerates in March

May 7, 2015 11:25 am | by American Institute of Architects | News | Comments

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.

Workspace trends in renovation design

April 30, 2015 9:17 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

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.

April 2015 Issue of Laboratory Design Newsletter

April 21, 2015 9:58 am | by Laboratory Design Newsletter | Digital Editions | Comments

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.

Don’t mock the mock-up: The value of tangible tools in conceptual lab design

April 20, 2015 2:31 pm | by Erin Miller, MA, LEED GA, Associate, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates | Articles | Comments

The process of scientific investigation—in the simplest of terms—is one of trial-and-error. Researchers test proof-of-concept and then reposition their focus based on data. The idea is to fail quickly, to get to the desired result sooner. The design process is similarly iterative. Solving for user’s needs and anticipating challenges often requires a search and discovery approach to the built environment.

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Facility planning for large research imaging equipment

April 20, 2015 12:07 pm | by Doug Dorney, AIA, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, Project Manager, Associate, Perkins+Will | Articles | Comments

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.

How academic institutions partner with private industry

April 20, 2015 9:35 am | by Janet Corzo, AIA, Associate, Perkins Eastman | Articles | Comments

Partnerships between universities and businesses are nothing new, but these partnerships have become especially relevant in the face of increasing economic pressure and global competition, the need for interdisciplinary approaches and the growing complexity of the problems need solutions.

Science Connect: Positive Energy: Sustaining a Great Lab Environment

April 20, 2015 8:57 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

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.

Simulating a hospital environment

April 17, 2015 3:29 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Simulation centers are often located in the basement or unused space of hospitals, universities and research centers. In some cases, they are a facilities best-kept secret, as they provide a wealth of learning and activities to prep workers for real-world situations. Most are also architecturally nondescript.

Emerging models in undergraduate science research labs

April 17, 2015 3:13 pm | by Sara Gewurz, AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Payette | Articles | Comments

The increased pressure for undergraduates to gain research experience prior to graduate school has led to more students requesting participation in a lab environment throughout their undergraduate career. Undergraduate institutions are now faced with the challenge of finding an environment where faculty can succeed in their individual research endeavors, as well as teach these future scientists in their research labs.

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Science Connect: Next-Generation Engineering Facilities

April 17, 2015 1:54 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

In the past decade, the expansion of research focus areas in engineering has undergone a transformation. The demands of engineering labs present challenges for institutions because most occupied spaces were conceived during an era with radically different needs and required services.

Lab utilities help promote science

April 16, 2015 4:28 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Compared to industrial and residential construction, labs are expensive as they are highly complex in nature. The end goal to constructing a functional lab is to provide valuable research results. At the heart of a lab is the research conducted and, as a result, lab owners can’t compromise research efforts by overlooking key aspects of the workspace—such as safety, comfort and sustainability.

Controlling vibration

April 16, 2015 4:25 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Articles | Comments

Much equipment used in nanotech, physical and biological sciences can’t function properly if subjected to vibrations that exceed small threshold values. As a result, lab designers are faced with the challenge of developing designs where vibration disturbances are within acceptable limits to further science.

Science Connect: The Translational Approach

April 16, 2015 8:46 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

Translational research is a paradigm for research designed to enable innovative thinking by leveraging the benefits of collaboration. First emerging in the mid-1990s in reference to cancer studies spanning basic science, over the past two decades the definition has broadened and evolved.

Retro-commission your lab building for energy savings

April 15, 2015 4:33 pm | by John D. Villani, PE, LEED AP, QCxP, CEM, GBE, and Dan Doyle, PE, LEED AP O+M, Grumman/Butkus Associates | Articles | Comments

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.

Engineering’s new space needs

April 15, 2015 4:00 pm | by Jeff DeGregorio, AIA, LEED AP, Payette | Articles | Comments

In the past decade, the breadth of research focus areas within engineering has undergone a monumental transformation and expansion. Payette has investigated these transitions at many levels—from small-scale highly technical research lab designs to multiple institutional master plans.

Pros and cons of fast-track project delivery

April 15, 2015 2:41 pm | by Steve Gurtel, Senior Project Manager, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and Stephen Palumbo, AIA, LEED AP (BD+C), Tsoi/Kobus & Associates | Articles | Comments

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.

Science Connect: Flexibility Built In

April 14, 2015 2:39 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

Flexibility is critical when considering the future of science, research and lab environments. However, research needs down the road are difficult to predict, and flexibility is hard to define. Yet, reducing a facility’s flexibility may mean the loss of spare engineering capacities/infrastructures, services planning and space for anticipated growth and fit-out.

Out of the incubator, into the nest

April 10, 2015 4:07 pm | by Robert B. Skolozdra, AIA, LEED AP, Partner, Svigals + Partners | Articles | Comments

Research science startups face similar decisions and crises any new business venture might. The volatile marketplace demand for breakthrough research and the rigors of nurturing a new business make early-stage decisions crucial, even perilous. The startup’s first dedicated research lab represents a major investment of capital, and to invest wisely, leadership should ask itself a few fundamental questions.

Fire alarm audible notification considerations in vivariums

April 9, 2015 1:23 pm | by Deanna Schmidt, PE, Associate, Arup | Articles | Comments

Creating an environment for optimizing the control of outside factors in vivarium facilities is critical to the success of reliable research outcomes. Animal responses are directly impacted by their environments—by air, access to food and water, light cycles and noise. Acoustic separation to isolate animal areas from noise and minimizing intrusive sounds into animal-occupied spaces is desired.

Science Connect: The Evolving Lab Environment

April 9, 2015 11:30 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Videos | Comments

Science is evolving: It’s becoming more translational and multidisciplinary in nature. Just as science evolves, so do lab environments. Most lab environments are now designed to be more open and not just meant for one discipline—today, biologists may work next to chemists, or chemists work alongside physicists, and so on.

A 10-year journey

April 9, 2015 9:39 am | by Jinhee Lee, Matt Wilmus and Susan Halla, Crime Lab Design | Articles | Comments

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.

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