Virtual Inspections and Observations, When Site Visits are not Feasible

Requires Good Communication and Reliable Technology

Published 4-29-2020

All of the protocols general contractors are putting in place to keep their workers safe during the ongoing pandemic—rearranging shifts, monitoring temperatures, separating crews on site—will not move a project to completion without the dozens of inspections, site visits, and construction observation events that take place during the course of construction. But with many owners, architects, and inspectors unable to visit job sites due to stay-at-home mandates, construction progress can stall. One solution is the virtual site visit, opening the door to remote construction observations.

Adding Manufacturing to a Pharmaceutical Research Lab

Extra Precision Helps Philadelphia Facility Meet FDA and EU Standards

Published 11-13-2019

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is joining a growing wave of pharmaceutical research facilities that are incorporating small-scale manufacturing into their spaces. Fitting the manufacturing suites into an underground floor of an existing building was a challenge for architect, engineer, and scientist alike. The suites are designed to produce clinical vectors, important “vehicles” to which drug companies “attach” treatments so that those treatments reach the right location in a patient’s body.

New Approaches to Chemical Safety in Research Labs

Understanding What’s Happening Under the Fume Hood Is Key to Success

Published 11-14-2018

Laboratories that handle potentially hazardous or flammable chemicals present a unique challenge for facilities managers charged with providing a safe work environment for students, faculty, and researchers. Jonathan Eisenberg, a fire protection engineer and associate principal in the Boston office of the global engineering and consulting firm Arup, has identified a number of focus areas, ranging from items you might expect (using the appropriate fire suppression methods), to those you might overlook (ensuring that the humidity level is high enough so that people don’t generate sparks from static electricity). It’s important for facilities managers to understand each of the potential risks and to take steps to mitigate them with careful planning, adherence to basic fire safety principles, and the application of recently developed tools and techniques.

Consulting the Experts: Pressing Issues in Animal and Biocontainment Facilities

LED Lighting, Financial Sustainability, Renovations, and Flexibility

Published 12-13-2017

In the concluding Open Forum/Town Hall session of Tradeline’s Facility Strategies for Animal Research and Biocontainment conference, moderator Derek Westfall, president of Tradeline, and subject matter commentators, Mark Corey with Flad Architects and Tiffini Lovelace with EYP Architecture & Engineering, led a knowledge exchange on questions posed by conference attendees. This is an edited transcript of that exchange.

Choosing the Most Suitable Standby Power Source for Research Facilities

Consider Equipment Size, Location, Costs, and Relevant Regulatory Codes

Published 8-23-2017

Bigger is not always better when it comes to generators and their distribution systems. Oversizing a piece of equipment has a domino effect on the infrastructure needed to support it and the square footage it occupies, as well as capital, operating, and maintenance costs, all of which cut into funding that could go toward research. Determining which generator is best for a research facility requires an understanding of many factors, including the current and projected loads, site parameters, risk assessment, flexibility requirements, and operating concerns.

Continuous Mission Alignment with Facility Design Prevents Operational Failures

Transitional Services Keep Everyone on Track

Published 1-20-2016

Complex technology, expanding program, and increasingly specialized and segmented roles and responsibilities often create a disconnect in the process of designing and building sophisticated facilities. The result can be a research or diagnostic lab or high-containment animal building that becomes a burden to the owner, whether because it hasn’t been right-sized, is not energy efficient, or operates with sub-par reliability. The solution is to assign someone the task of aligning design decisions with the building’s ultimate scientific mission.

The Plowright Building

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Published 11-18-2015

The Pirbright Institute’s Plowright Building transforms the standard box-in-a-box bunker-like containment facility into an interactive environment filled with natural light, expansive views through full-height windows, and extensive opportunities for collaboration. Offices, a cafeteria, and a three-story glass atrium all exist within the containment barrier, reducing the number of times researchers need to shower and gown in and out each day.

ASHRAE 90.1 Standards Up the Ante for Energy Savings

Code Compliance Results in Creative Solutions at Midwestern University

Published 9-16-2015

In the ever-evolving quest for sustainability, engineers and their clients may find the 2013 updates to ASHRAE 90.1, the energy code that predominantly guides the design of buildings, useful in benchmarking energy efficiency for new or remodeled laboratories and vivaria. Regular review of the code ensures compliance for new projects and offers an opportunity to refine best practices for building envelopes, mechanical systems, lighting, and noise mitigation, say Adam Golubski and Philip Walter of The Clark Enersen Partners.