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.
Michaella Wittmann, HDR's director of sustainability, will serve a three-year term as chair of...
This month's issue of Laboratory Design Newsletter features articles on commissioning...
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the perennial questions in the lab design conversation is “what’s the future of the research lab?” One viewpoint on this issue is the research lab environment will become more “polarized”. In other words, the generic research lab will become more generic, and the specialized research lab spaces will become more specialized and idiosyncratic.
With the recent news about Ebola, MERS, extremely drug-resistant TB and other emerging and re-emerging diseases, the world-wide need for high-containment laboratories is at an all-time high. These laboratories are highly complex buildings that serve as a barrier between the dangerous pathogens handled in the laboratory and the surrounding environment.
The 50,000-sf New Technology and Learning Center for Bristol Community College, Fall River, Mass., brings together disparate programs—chemistry, biology, medical and dental education—holding energy-dense uses, including 18 fume hoods, high plug loads and specific ventilation and lighting requirements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 TowerDecember 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 needsDecember 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.
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.
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.
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 institutionsDecember 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.
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.
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