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Lab Utilities Make the Grade

April 15, 2014 10:08 am | by Paul Livingstone | Erlab, Inc., Pfeiffer Vacuum, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum USA | Articles | Comments

All types of research laboratories rely on a set of core utilities to enable and support work functions. These are often overlooked as a commodity called “consumables”, but in reality they are indispensable nutrients that vary greatly in quality and reliability. Just as a human can’t exist without water, oxygen and food, the research facility cannot make do without water, gas, air, lighting and, increasingly, high-throughput data.

Jefferson Lab accelerator achieves 12 GeV commissioning milestone

April 15, 2014 9:31 am | News | Comments

Following an upgrade of the Continuous Electron...

NIH opens new research facility dedicated to study of the brain

April 1, 2014 3:44 pm | News | Comments

The National Institutes of Health held a...

Last call: Register for the 2014 Laboratory Design Conference

March 28, 2014 7:14 am | by Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor | News | Comments

The Laboratory Design Conference is only a few days away, with registration ending on March 31st...

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R&D Chat: Sustainability Built In

March 27, 2014 11:34 am | by Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor | Videos | Comments

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.

R&D Chat: Collaborative Laboratory Space

March 20, 2014 7:27 am | by Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor | Videos | Comments

Not all outcomes of the recession were negative. As the North American market shrank, the AEC 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.

R&D Chat: State of Lab Design

March 12, 2014 9:46 am | Videos | Comments

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.

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Submit your new lab projects to Laboratory Design Newsletter

March 10, 2014 4:47 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Design Newsletter features new laboratory construction, renovation and adaptive reuse projects in each issue and also online. The new projects section of the Website hosts a large variety of laboratory builds in academic, medical, private, commercial and government laboratories.

R&D Magazine Announces the 2014 Laboratory of the Year Winners

February 27, 2014 7:46 am | by R&D Magazine Editors | News | Comments

In its 48th year, the Laboratory of the Year Awards continue to recognize excellence in research laboratory design, planning and construction. Judging for this year’s competition took place on Thursday, February 20th and was conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of laboratory architects, engineers, equipment manufacturers, researchers and the editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design Newsletter.

How Laboratory Space is Changing

February 18, 2014 1:49 pm | by Bill Harris, Principal, Regional Practice Leader for Science and Technology, Perkins+Will | Articles | Comments

A generation ago, wet laboratory space would’ve included fixed casework, dense with laboratory benches, storage cabinets and equipment, but hardly any space or capacity to hold a meeting or accommodate change. Today, laboratory space design reflects an evolution in both the methods of research and the way that scientists work—individually and with their colleagues. 

Complete Containment

February 7, 2014 9:36 am | by Paul Livingstone | Hemco Corporation, AirClean Systems, Erlab, Inc., Mott Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Laboratories are like a living organism: They need to breathe to survive. Air exchange and management is one of a laboratory’s primary functions, and like the creature that breathes with lungs, the research environment contains many cells, or pockets, of both pure and contaminated air. These enclosures protect specimens or samples from the deleterious effects of contaminated air and allow researchers to breathe freely.

The Safety and Sustainability Factors of Fume Hoods

December 10, 2013 2:46 pm | by Kenneth Crooks, Director, GreenFumeHood Technology, Erlab Inc., Rowley, Mass. | Erlab, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Fume hoods are a central component in most laboratories. Whether designing a new laboratory or renovating an existing one, architects are challenged to incorporate safety, reliability and sustainability. These same issues hold true for laboratory managers when thinking about updating their existing equipment.

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Tips for Choosing In-Cabinet Fire Suppression

December 10, 2013 2:42 pm | by David Wilhite, Marketing Development Manager, Firetrace, Scottsdale, Ariz. | Articles | Comments

Virtually every laboratory has areas with elevated fire risks, with fume hoods being a primary concern. The presence of ignition sources, such as hot plates and Bunsen burners, the use of pyrophoric materials and the inherent volatility of the various chemicals and compounds that are commonly found in fume hoods all add up to a serious fire risk.

A toolbox for carbon dioxide-free buildings

November 5, 2013 4:32 pm | News | Comments

A set of new building technologies introduced by an alliance of Swiss companies makes it possible to heat and cool buildings without the emission of carbon dioxide. One initial key element of the system is a hybrid collector, built into the roof construction, that serves as a photovoltaic system delivering both solar power and heat that is fed to an underground accumulator.

2014 Laboratory of the Year competition open for entries

October 28, 2013 10:54 am | News | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine and Laboratory Design are now accepting entries to the 48th international Laboratory of the Year competition. This annual award recognizes the best new and renovated laboratories that combine all aspects of the building into a superior working environment. The entry deadline is January 31, 2014 (11:59p.m. Eastern Standard Time).

Stop hyperventilating, say energy-efficiency researchers

June 18, 2013 2:10 pm | News | Comments

A single advanced building control now in development could slash 18%—tens of thousands of dollars—off the overall annual energy bill of the average large office building, with no loss of comfort, according to a report by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The Green Magnet

June 6, 2013 1:14 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Discounting its size and population, Singapore is one of world’s most productive and technologically advanced countries. For years, the small island nation has been emblematic of the growth of research, innovation, and enterprise in South Asia. Already home to several highly rated research universities, Singapore, in the last decade, has sought opportunities to bolster its capabilities by organizing a truly international research facility.

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A Pinnacle of Energy Efficiency

June 6, 2013 1:06 pm | by Lindsay Hock | Articles | Comments

The Georgia Institute of Technology Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory began as a flexible, design-build, high-bay laboratory. Located across railroad tracks on Georgia Tech’s North Avenue Research Area Science Park site, it was a shop-like laboratory; flexible enough for use, even without a defined user.

Improving Past Excellence

June 6, 2013 12:58 pm | by Lindsay Hock | Articles | Comments

Following Harvard University’s creation of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department, a new home was sought; ultimately resulting in the rebirth of the. The building was considered groundbreaking at its completion in 1981, known as one of the world's first biochemistry buildings. However, 30 years later, it desperately needed renovating to meet the department's growing needs.

Joining Forces

June 6, 2013 12:51 pm | by Patrice Galvin, Editor, Laboratory Design Newsletter | Articles | Comments

When District of Columbia city leaders examined the system in place for handling forensic evidence and analysis, they realized public interest and safety wasn’t served to the fullest. At the time, the Metropolitan Police Department sent thousands of trace evidence specimens to the FBI’s laboratory in Virginia.

PEMs Stack Up to the Competition

June 6, 2013 11:57 am | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

The element hydrogen offers hope and headaches in equal measure. The most abundant element on the planet is also one of the most attractive for use as fuel. But because it is also the lightest element, it does not naturally occur in pure form. Hydrogen is so crucial in manufacturing, energy supply, and scientific research that new methods to improve production are being eagerly sought.

Vacuum Pump Evolution

June 6, 2013 11:51 am | by Paul Livingstone | Pfeiffer Vacuum | Articles | Comments

Vacuum pumps are the veteran workhorses of the laboratory, providing the mechanical force for a host of research-related tasks that require precise atmospheric control. Over the last 100 years, a number of well-established pump designs have come to dominate the market. And for decades, many varieties of pumps have seen just incremental changes. This is not for lack of competition.

Researchers add eyes, brains to occupancy detection

June 5, 2013 8:36 am | News | Comments

It's a gnawing frustration of modern office life. You're sitting quietly—too quietly—in an office or carrel, and suddenly the lights go off. The U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed and made available for license the Image Processing Occupancy Sensor, which combines an inexpensive camera and computer vision algorithms that can recognize the presence of human occupants.

Preparing to install the world’s largest underwater observatory

April 16, 2013 9:20 pm | by Hannah Hickey, University of Washington | News | Comments

The basement laboratory near the University of Washington campus is, literally, buzzing. High-voltage machines produce energy that will soon run through cables snaking along the seafloor. The electronics are being prepared for the world’s largest underwater observatory. Called the Regional Scale Nodes project, the cabled facility will help researchers integrate U.S. measurements of the ocean and seafloor.

Scientist, federal panel advise DOD on green building

April 3, 2013 9:40 am | News | Comments

New recommendations by a National Research Council (NRC) expert panel on green and sustainable building performance could lead to a revolution in building science by creating the first large building performance database, says panel member Paul Fisette, a nationally recognized sustainable building expert at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

New type of solar structure cools buildings in full sunlight

March 27, 2013 2:45 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers at Stanford has designed an entirely new form of cooling structure that cools even when the sun is shining. The new structure accomplishes two goals. It is an effective a broadband mirror for solar light—it reflects most of the sunlight. It also emits thermal radiation very efficiently within the crucial wavelength range needed to escape Earth's atmosphere.

Research shows how earthquakes can impact fire safety in buildings

March 11, 2013 4:32 pm | News | Comments

Damage to building structural elements, elevators, stairs, and fire protection systems caused by the shaking from a major earthquake can play a critical role in the spread of fire and hamper the ability of occupants to evacuate, and impede fire departments in their emergency response operations. These are among the conclusions of a groundbreaking study of post-earthquake building fire performance conducted in 2012 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

The Optimal Fit-Out

February 26, 2013 4:33 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

New technologies and changing attitudes about effective, efficient research impact the way laboratories are equipped.

Pattern of Flow

February 26, 2013 4:23 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

As the laboratory construction industry struggles to recover, fume hood manufacturers jockey for better positions and products.

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