There's still time to make plans to attend the 2014 Lab Design Conference. With a terrific line-up of speakers and tours of exceptional lab facilities in the Boston area, the conference continues to be a valuable resource for all those involved in lab design/build and operations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 world’s most advanced energy-efficiency testbed for buildings is open for business. The U.S. Dept. of Energy's FLEXLAB at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is already signing up companies determined to reduce their energy use by testing and deploying the most energy-efficient technologies as integrated systems under real-world conditions.
The net-zero energy test house at NIST in suburban Washington, D.C., not only absorbed winter's best shot, it came out on top, reaching its one-year anniversary on July 1 with enough surplus energy to power an electric car for about 1,440 miles.
The National Physical Laboratory has launched a new mobile lab to detect and measure emissions that are harmful to the environment. The DIAL (Differential Absorption Lidar) facility is a sophisticated laser-based system that provides rapid, accurate measurements of airborne emissions. It’s a completely self-contained mobile lab that can shipped, or driven, to where it is needed.
WinSun, a private company located in eastern China, has printed 10 full-size houses using a 3-D printer in the space of a day. The process utilizes quick-drying cement and construction water to build the walls layer-by-layer. The company used a system of four 10-m-by-6.6-m-high printers with multi-directional sprays to create the houses.
What research lab doesn’t care about a good return on investment for their spending? The last five years has marked an increase in the level of scrutiny applied to projects to assure maximum ROI. The early design process demands greater economic analysis of lifecycle costs to reduce operating and energy costs and optimize environmental performance.
Not all outcomes of the recession were negative. As the North American market shrank, the industry saw a significant increase in the number of national and global institutional and private collaborations and people getting creative about funding and seeking partnerships to pool resources.
In tough economic times, construction projects are often early victims to budget cuts. During the recent recession, research labs were no exception as many lab construction projects were delayed or canceled. However, lab owners and architectural and engineering firms note that the lab construction business is slowly resurging.
Dubbed the "mystery barge," due to the secrecy surrounding its purpose, the project built from shipping containers made a quietly orchestrated appearance at a pier last fall. Google is towing the barge to a new location to avoid fines.
The 94,000-sf North Louisiana Forensic Science Center will be located on the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine campus. The facility is being constructed using $24 million in capital outlay funds from the state. Construction is expected to take 18 months and will feature classrooms and equipment.