When people think of labs, they typically imagine the traditional wet lab: high benches arranged in orderly rows, stocked with beakers and test tubes, with sinks and heavy equipment within arm’s reach. But now, as big data and computation change the nature of discovery and processes for research, it’s time to holistically rethink the configuration of the lab environment.
There are many ways to design a sustainable lab, but the success depends on how a researcher...
We are at a unique moment in the world’s scientific enterprise; our collective knowledge base,...
The planning of research spaces is driven by the type of client and institution, and its users. The majority of public/ government agencies, academic and research institutions have well-established standards and requirements architects can use in the planning process. On the other hand, private and independent research entities might rely on architects to guide them through the process, and even assist in establishing standards.
The developers of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) describe their project as “a new and liberating lab typology that promotes collaboration and medical discovery, attracting the best researchers from around the world.” With design by global design and consulting firm Woods Bagot, SAHMRI was the first project completed within the new South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct.
On September 19, 2014, the Smithsonian Institution opened the doors of its greenest building to date: The Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Md. Designed to be the first LEED-Platinum building for the institution, the Mathias Lab demonstrates a renewed commitment by the Smithsonian and the U.S. Congress to invest in crucial environmental research.
Can a high containment lab have windows? Can the traditional model of a high containment lab be turned inside out? Can a high containment facility offer better life quality? The answer to all these questions is yes. Home to three international reference labs for 10 exotic viral diseases of livestock, The Pirbright Institute focuses on virology and, specifically, animal health, including zoonotic diseases.
In their 49th year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards continue to recognize excellence in research lab design, planning and construction. Judging for 2015’s competition took place on Thursday, February 19th, and was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of lab architects, engineers, equipment manufacturers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design Newsletter.
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.
Many new materials are entering the marketplace as a result of technology advancements. And, with the growing concern of sustainability and resiliency, lab clients are much more sensitive to the use of sustainable materials within their lab environments. From casework, to flooring, to the use of glass, the lab landscape is changing.
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.
Lab design is inordinately complex and often riddled with contradictions. So, when a lab must be relocated or renovated, the design process and subsequent project execution is exponentially complicated by yet another variable, existing facility and operating conditions.
According to data from McKinsey, a leading market research firm, as many as three out of four new products fail. In attempts to curb their new product failure rate, many companies rely on direct consumer engagement to help put new product introductions one step closer to success. Using direct consumer feedback on new products isn’t a new idea.
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.
Like all aspects of a lab environment, safety is any lab plumbing engineer’s first priority when designing plumbing systems for labs. These solutions must also help meet research needs. Every researcher in a lab who deals with hazardous substances needs access to emergency fixtures and eye washes that will help them remove contaminants in the event of a mishap.
EYP Architecture and Engineering announced Jeffrey Schantz, AIA, NCARB, recently joined the firm as Science & Technology Leader for EYP’s emerging Science & Technology practice, serving clients in academic, higher education, institutional, corporate, technology and government sectors.
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.
The competitiveness of U.S. high-technology manufacturing in the global marketplace has become an increasingly serious topic in current political and economic debates. Meanwhile, while still ranking number one in many measures, U.S. universities see declining trends in research grant funding, and are urgently searching for new models of collaboration with private industry.
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.
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.
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.
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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