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The Lead

Reading between the lines: A look at the leap from BSL-2 to BSL-3

February 25, 2015 11:00 am | by Alexander P. Clinton, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, Senior Associate, Senior Project Manager, Perkins+Will, Houston | Articles | Comments

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 polarization of the research environment

January 14, 2015 2:16 pm | by Jeffrey R. Zynda, Assoc. AIA, Science Practice Leader & Associate Principal, Payette | Articles | Comments

One of the perennial questions in the lab design conversation is “what’s the future of the...

Steps toward sustainable high-containment labs

January 2, 2015 10:18 am | by Jeff Serle, SVP and GM Germfree Laboratories Inc., Ormond Beach, Fla. | Articles | Comments

With the recent news about Ebola, MERS, extremely drug-resistant TB and other emerging and re-...

How heat pumps, filtered fume hoods can help achieve ZNE

January 2, 2015 10:13 am | by Jacob Knowles, LEED AP, Director of Sustainable Design, BR+A Consulting Engineers and James Moses, AIA, LEED AP, Director, Sasaki Associates | Articles | Comments

The 50,000-sf New Technology and Learning Center for Bristol Community College, Fall River, Mass...

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Designing for the next generation of scientists

December 15, 2014 12:35 pm | by Irene Monis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, SmithGroupJJR | Articles | Comments

There has been much speculation about what the academic scientific workplace of the future will look like. As young scientists enter the post-doctoral and faculty ranks and recent college graduates enter graduate school, architects and lab planners will need to re-think the way we design research environments so these facilities will best serve the next generation of scientists.

Can sustainable lab design go mainstream?

December 8, 2014 4:54 pm | by Victor J. Cardona, AIA, NCARB and George Karidis, PE, LEED AP BD+C, SmithGroupJJR | Articles | Comments

With 48% of the world’s energy consumed by buildings, and labs near the top of the consumption range by building type, these power-intensive facilities are now viewed with much more scrutiny. Consider an average office building runs on 3 W/sf and 100 kBtu/sf/yr, whereas a lab can use 15 W/sf and 300 to 500 kBtu/sf/yr—five times that of other buildings.

Pushing energy-efficient lab design

December 8, 2014 3:38 pm | by Josh Yacknowitz, PE, LEED AP, Arup | Articles | Comments

Throughout the past 15 years, an emphasis on energy-efficient lab operations has become a major influence in lab design. This fact is driven by a number of forces, from practical considerations surrounding operational costs, to policy issues related to sustainable development and carbon reduction.

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10 strategies for sustainable lab design

December 8, 2014 3:21 pm | by Jacob Knowles, LEED AP BD+C, BR+A Consulting Engineers and Blake Jackson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Stephen Palumbo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Tsoi/Kobus and Associates | Articles | Comments

Sustainable design has grown in prominence in recent years as most projects aspire to some level of environmentally conscious design. Research institutions now recognize the significant environmental impacts of their lab facilities, and owners are willing to think creatively to reduce resource utilization, improve interior environments and save capital costs.

Abstracts highlight lab sustainability conference

December 8, 2014 2:25 pm | by Phil Wirdzek, President, Executive Direction, I2SL | Articles | Comments

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.

Applying an intelligent high-efficiency energy- recovery system

December 8, 2014 2:16 pm | by Sean T. Convery, PE, Mechanical Principal, Cator, Ruma & Associates | Articles | Comments

The recently designed Univ. of Colorado Boulder Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC) implemented a Konvekta intelligent high-efficiency heat-recovery system with MeeFog direct evaporative cooling. Labs typically implement one of four systems including run-around loops, energy-recovery wheels, refrigerant heat pipes or plate heat exchangers.

Your toolkit for good lab exhaust design

December 8, 2014 2:09 pm | by Mark Hallman, LEED AP, Senior Project Engineer, Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc. | Articles | Comments

It’s no secret lab facilities carry the burden of a large energy demand. Reasons for this high demand include the significant plug loads of specialized lab equipment, the high ventilation air change rates often implemented in lab spaces and the large volumes of hazardous exhaust air that must be moved out of the building.

Energy optimization and reuse through systems integration

December 8, 2014 1:44 pm | by Robert Thompson, PE, Chief Mechanical Engineer, SmithGroupJJR and Otto Van Geet, PE, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Articles | Comments

Nearly 40% of the total U.S. energy consumption in 2012 was consumed by residential and commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While each building is a consumer of energy, they also contain energy resources that are under-utilized or not even considered as energy resources.

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Lab sustainability: In what ways do voluntary green lab programs make an institutional impact?

December 8, 2014 12:12 pm | by Kelly O’Day Weisinger, Sustainability Program Coordinator, Emory Univ. | Articles | Comments

In 2013, Emory Univ. pulled together a multidisciplinary team of individuals from the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Environmental Health and Safety Office, Office of Procurement, Campus Services and research labs to develop the university’s first Green Lab Program. In early 2014, the team kicked off the program to a small pilot group to test the initiatives and provide essential feedback.

Modifying energy auditors’ behavior to align with facility owner’s needs

December 8, 2014 12:07 pm | by Tabitha L. Sprau Coulter, PhD, Assistant Professor, Alfred State SUNY College of Technology | Articles | Comments

When making the decision to invest in a building retrofit, an energy audit is performed to collect information about the facility’s existing systems, geometry, use type and energy consumption. Through performing an energy audit, the facility owner and those individuals analyzing the building are able to sense how the building systems are performing, while identifying potential retrofit upgrades.

BIM offers university tools and capabilities that support their O&Ms and facilities management

December 8, 2014 11:58 am | by Matt Meyer, Senior Project Manager, JE Dunn Construction | Articles | Comments

The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how BIM, created for a university research lab facility, can be successfully leveraged by an owner beyond initial building construction. Through the example of the new Univ. of Colorado at Boulder’s Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, we will illustrate how the university and facilities management staff played an integral part of the construction BIM coordination process.

The importance of BIM and efficient lab systems at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building and Skourtes Tower

December 8, 2014 11:50 am | by John McMichael, Interface Engineering and Wade Snyder, JE Dunn Construction | Articles | Comments

School is truly back in at Oregon Health & Science Univ. (OHSU)’s recently completed Collaborative Life Sciences Building. The building, along with Skourtes Tower, is the result of a joint venture between Portland State Univ., Oregon State Univ. and Oregon Health & Science Univ., and is designed to foster collaboration among students and instructors from the multiple institutions.

Multidisciplinary research building adapts energy conservation, flexibility to meet specific user needs

December 8, 2014 11:35 am | by Tyler Dykes, PE, CDT, LEED AP, Affiliated Engineers Inc. | Articles | Comments

The Univ. of Florida (UF) Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona is a four-story, 100,000-sf research and conference center with academic classrooms for graduate-level pharmacy courses, research labs with bioinformatics and specialized lab functions, a call center for clinical research programs associated with the Institute on Aging and administrative office facilities.

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Agensys: A happy marriage between energy-efficient design, space flexibility and budget

December 8, 2014 11:17 am | by Don E. Holden, Associate, CPM, Clark, Richardson & Biskup (CRB) Consulting Engineers | Articles | Comments

The Agensys campus is a consolidation of four different client sites throughout the city of Santa Monica, Calif., into one research campus. The facility consists of flexible research labs and support spaces, a GMP manufacturing and pilot plant, a central plant, administrative offices, a fitness center, a public café, a sculpture garden and a conferencing center.

Chemistry labs: How the new math changes everything

December 5, 2014 4:50 pm | by Greg Muth, Senior Lab Planner, Wilson Architects and Betsy Blunt, Senior Lab Planner, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst | Articles | Comments

We took the opportunity to look at a pair of lab projects for the Univ. Massachusetts Amherst (UMA)—the Life Science Laboratories (LSL) and the Physical Sciences Building (PSB)—and looked at how the approach to ventilation varies by lab type and how the changes in current standards impacted the design to give a sense of where we are headed in the design of chemistry labs and, in particular, fume hoods.

LEED Gold BSL-3 forensics pathology autopsy lab

December 5, 2014 4:39 pm | by Gurdaver Singh, PE, C. Eng, LEED AP, Guttmann & Blaevoet and Russell McElroy, AIA, NCARB, Senior Principal, McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie Inc. | Articles | Comments

The San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is an essential forensic medical complex with autopsy suite and field investigation facilities required to operate after an earthquake event. There are four levels of biosafety, from BSL-1 to BSL-4. Further classifications are prescribed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for each of the four BSLs (ABSL-1 to 4) when dealing with animals.

Right-sizing energy-efficient cleanrooms: Lessons learned from Harvard LISE and other peer institutions

December 5, 2014 4:24 pm | by Jacob Werner, Associate, Wilson Architects and Jacob Knowles, Director of Sustainable Design, Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers LLC | Articles | Comments

Cleanrooms are energy hogs. But cleanroom energy use serves direct experimental needs. How do we balance these demanding requirements against institutional goals for greater sustainability? The Harvard Univ. Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering (LISE) cleanroom began operation in 2006.

Case studies in selecting a differentiated ultra-low temperature freezer

December 5, 2014 4:13 pm | by Neil Lane, CEO, Stirling Ultracold, Global Cooling Inc. | Articles | Comments

All mechanically refrigerated ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers using cascade refrigeration systems are commoditized and rely upon the same cooling technology with little difference in performance from one brand to another. Freezers of this type are typically sold through multiple competing channels either singly or in volume on a relationship basis with significant discounts offered.

Automated washing principles and common mistakes

December 5, 2014 4:05 pm | by Olivier Van Houtte, Product Manager, Life Sciences Washing Systems and Paul Lopolito, Manager, Life Sciences Technical Services, STERIS Corp | Articles | Comments

Automated washing systems are often used for critical cleaning and drying applications in research, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Typical applications include cleaning of lab glassware and parts from equipment used in the manufacturing of parenterals, oral liquid and solid dosage drugs.

2014 I2SL Annual Conference Go Beyond Award Winners

December 5, 2014 3:47 pm | by Phil Wirdzek, President, Executive Direction, I2SL | Articles | Comments

I2SL is pleased to acknowledge the winners of the 2014 Go Beyond Awards. Go Beyond Award winners show their commitment to excellence in sustainability in lab and other high-tech facility projects by going beyond the facility itself to consider shared resources, infrastructure and services and neighboring communities, and contribute to increased use of energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable designs, systems and products.

Sensata Technologies, U.S. Headquarters, Attleboro, Mass.

December 5, 2014 2:39 pm | News | Comments

Sensata Technologies is a company developing mission critical sensors and electrical protection for use in the aircraft/military, appliance, automotive, electronics, solar, transportation, HVAC/R, industrial and semiconductor industries. Renovations to the company’s U.S. headquarters in Attleboro, Mass., which houses 850 employees, comprise full upgrades to the second floor.

Univ. of California, San Diego (UCSD) Muir College Biology Labs renovation

December 5, 2014 2:18 pm | News | Comments

RBB provided programming planning, design and construction services for the interior renovation within the existing Biology Building at Muir College, built in 1967. The building is a wet-lab research building supporting the Div. of Biological Sciences research. The third floor labs exclusively support biology functions, and were in need of renovation.

Oakland Univ. Engineering Center, Rochester, Mich.

December 5, 2014 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Oakland Univ.’s Engineering Center (OUEC) provides cutting-edge instructional and R&D space for the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS), whose programs were dispersed over four buildings on the campus. The new OUEC, along with two renovated floors of the existing Dodge Hall of Engineering, consolidates teaching and research functions into a new environment that promotes collaboration and active learning.

Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery Laboratory at Cool Springs Life Science Center (CSLSC)

December 5, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

As a leading academic medical center with an increasingly limited amount of space on campus, Vanderbilt Univ. needed to extend programs beyond the medical center campus. The project consists of the build-out of 13,000 gsf of shell space on the first level of an existing developer-constructed science center.

Saving energy—or Maximizing lighting?

December 2, 2014 2:52 pm | by Chris Rush, Senior Lighting Consultant, Arup | Articles | Comments

Energy restrictions across all building design are ever-tightening, with increasingly aggressive government-adopted codes, green-rating systems and client goals. Lighting in labs can be more critical to facility function than in other building uses. Although lighting may not be the dominant energy consumer in labs, energy restrictions can push toward a “hands-are-tied” sentiment.

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