Great Lakes Science Center

U.S. Geological Survey, OAG Reston Acquisition Branch
  • Life History Lab

    Photo by Margret Chriscinske

  • First Floor Plan

    Courtesy of Nagel Architects + Engineers

A two-story renovation of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Great Lakes Science Center, and the installation of filtered fume hoods, provide the facility with more flexibility and adaptability in the future. The 13,000-nsf project included demolition, renovation, and construction of wet lab and office areas, fire protection, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical on the ground and first floors of the North Laboratory Wing.

The 1964 building, with limited floor-to-floor height, made it a good candidate for filtered, rather than ducted, fume hoods (see photo above). The North Wing contains 12 labs, a prep lab, two office/labs, and a kitchen space. All of the laboratories and office spaces needed to be completely renovated to meet code requirements and changes in functional requirements, and to accommodate new scientific equipment in the labs. It also offered the opportunity to take advantage of natural light and modernize the labs for future adaptability.

Research at the Great Lakes Science Center focuses on aquatic genetic studies, aquatic invertebrate studies, and fish population studies. Labs are designed for chromatography, extractions, microscopy, benthic ecology, and organic sample preparations. New laboratory departments include Molecular Ecology Labs, Limnology Lab, Tissue Preparation and Analysis Lab, Ichthyoplankton Lab, and Invertebrate Ecology Lab. Support spaces include a new formalin storage area, offices, restrooms, shower areas and kitchen area.

Researchers in some of the larger labs pick and count sturgeon fry to monitor sturgeon health and population in the Great Lakes. Their lab spaces are equipped with articulating task lights for large trays of lake water with sturgeon fry and their habitat.

Fish are sometimes fixed in formaldehyde for archival purposes. Part of the remodel included the special lab areas to allow this to occur safely. Another key component of the research is a fish processing lab where large quantities of USGS-caught fish are processed for genetic research.


Project Data
Project Type: 
Completion Date: 
August, 2015
Ann Arbor, MI
Delivery Method: 
Project NSF: 
Construction Cost: 
Building Descriptors: 
Laboratory: Research
Laboratory: Wet
Office: Researcher
Nagel Architects + Engineers
Frederick Construction
Lab Planner/Designer
FUSE Planning + Design/Eric Slifer
MEP/FP Engineer
Avantti Design Group
IBC Engineering Services
Filtered Fume Hoods
Air Master Systems Corporation
Fume Hood Filters
Erlab, Inc.
Fume Hoods and Casework
Mott Manufacturing
Power & Lighting
Hoekstra Electric
Published 3-2-2016