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.
The National Institutes of Health held a...
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greenhouse-gas induced warming and megapolitan expansion are both significant drivers of our warming planet, but how well adaptation technologies, such as cool roofs and green roofs, perform remains uncertain. Now, a team of researchers has begun exploring the relative effectiveness of some of the most common adaptation technologies aimed at reducing warming from urban expansion.
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.
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.
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.
Highly insulating triple-pane windows keep a house snug and cozy, but it takes two decades or more for the windows to pay off financially based on utility-bill savings, according to a report by energy-efficiency experts at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The report is based on a study at PNNL's Lab Homes, a pair of identical manufactured homes used to study energy efficiency.
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).
A new database of building features and energy use data helps building managers, owners, real estate investors and lenders evaluate the financial results of energy efficiency investment projects and identify high- and low-performing buildings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dow Chemical Company and Dow AgroSciences officially opened a new 175,000-square-foot R&D facility this week. Part laboratory, part greenhouse, the laboratory is part of a global growth plan for Dow AgroSciences’ research efforts for the development and commercialization of new crop protection and seed, traits, and oils products for growers around the world.
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 technologies and changing attitudes about effective, efficient research impact the way laboratories are equipped.
Sandia National Laboratories has launched a Sustainability Innovation Foundry that combines laboratories-wide resource conservation with efforts to turn research in fields related to sustainability into business opportunities. Sandia is on track to meet an ambitious goal of cutting energy intensity in buildings 30% by 2015, using a 2005 baseline, and it hopes that what it has learned as part of this effort will carry over into general industry practices.
Chilled beams can provide an energy-efficient laboratory environment even in a tropical paradise.
Fume hoods have been present within society and science since the 17th century. However, throughout the years fume hoods have changed to accommodate user’s needs and laboratory applications. While the first fume hoods were fixed and far from flexible, with modern and mobility needs, fume hoods have now become flexible in design, more efficient, energy-saving, and also now have many types from benchtop or conventional fume hoods, radioisotope fume hoods, perchloric fume hoods, ductless fume hoods, and more.