The needs and architectural considerations for a veterinary diagnostic laboratory (VDL) have evolved toward a greater focus on the value of human-centered design. At its core, the VDL’s purpose to provide diagnostic testing for infectious animal diseases remains the same: Biosafety and biosecurity are a top priority, while designs have evolved to meet today’s demands and anticipated future technological advancements. However, the visionary and technological advancements of recent decades have also resulted in an increased focus on designing with efficiency and quality of workplace in mind.
The most-read Tradeline articles in 2020 reflect how the industry has responded to the COVID-19 crisis with flexibility and adaptability. From virtual site visits and virus-mitigating HVAC solutions to forward-looking models for office work, research programs, and higher education, readers learned about the innovative solutions that peer organizations have adopted to weather the storm and position themselves to thrive in the recovery.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities Achieves World's First WELL Health-Safety Rating for Laboratory Space
Alexandria Real Estate Equities has attained the world's first WELL Health-Safety Rating for laboratory space at Alexandria LaunchLabs in New York City.
Employees are driving the design of their workspaces like never before—demanding more collaborative environments, flexible spaces, and personalized technology. As a result, the focus of workplace design and operations, and overall facilities management, is evolving “from the responsibility of managing the building to the opportunity to enable the people within that building,” says Melissa Marsh, AIA, founder and executive director of PLASTARC. Marsh points to the rise of coworking as the disruptive innovation that sparked this shift, and the purposeful use of technology as the force that will sustain it.
As the landscape for academic institutions grows more competitive, determining how human factors impact the design of STEM facilities is becoming a significant consideration when it comes to attracting students and research faculty. As a result, team members at Francis Cauffman Architects are developing a set of metrics to identify and assess the value of design features that influence occupant experience in academic STEM spaces with the goal of creating an index that can be used to inform future renovation and new construction projects. Human factor points are allocated to spaces and design features that have a demonstrated positive impact on student enrollment, result in high levels of user satisfaction, and accommodate the teaching and research goals of the facility. In a post-COVID world, this additional evaluation tool may be more important than ever.
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched the latest version of the WELL Building Standard in September of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for the research community to respond quickly to changing markets and to understand the value of laboratory spaces that are flexible, adaptable, and scalable. We’ve seen stadiums converted to makeshift hospitals, “drive-through” testing sites pop up in vacant parking lots, and testing laboratories continually ramp up production to expedite results. This quick-thinking behavior has been inspiring to witness but daunting to execute. Laboratories, by nature, are among the most complex building typologies, where the utmost importance is protecting both the health and safety of their occupants and the integrity of the research. The complexities of the resulting design can be challenging to undertake, but when faced with the extreme circumstances of a pandemic, it is possible to expedite the process with a combination of strategies.
The COVID Consultants℠ and Better Efficiency Solutions & Technologies LLC (BEST) launched the COVIDefender™ Student Housing Portal in August 2020.