Jacob Werner, presenting with Martin Lu and Matt Ellsworth.

2017 Lab Design Conference Impressions

02 May 2017 by

Matt Ellsworth, Martin Lu, and I participated in, and thoroughly enjoyed, 2017 Lab Design Conference. This year, Wilson Architects led a workshop on the Value of Laboratory Mockups. If you’re interested in that topic, contact me, and I’ll send you a copy of our presentation. The Lab Design Conference is a great way to learn […]

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WES West Experiment Station UMass Amherst Blog University of Massachusetts Amherst

Salvage Process in Pictures: West Experiment Station

20 Dec 2016 by

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Physical Sciences Building (PSB) project includes the recreation of West Experiment Station (WES), a 19th Century research laboratory and one of the University’s oldest buildings. Unfortunately, the WES is structurally unsound, due to weak mortar in the building’s structural bearing walls. To save the building, the project dismantles the WES, […]

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op5 sustainability Cleanroom

Cleanrooms: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

17 Nov 2016 by

“Cleanrooms” are highly specialized research environments with intense need for particulate control.  Cleanrooms often have additional extreme needs, such as humidity sensitive processes or corrosive exhausts.  As seen in the above photo, cleanrooms can have photo sensitive processes requiring specialized and/or high intensity lighting. The most effective EEMs for Cleanrooms are those that target airflow […]

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Top5 sustainability Teaching Labs

Teaching Labs: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

01 Nov 2016 by

“Teaching” labs are a unique subset of the other lab typologies.  Their energy use mirrors that of their research counterparts, but with some very significant differences.  Teaching labs are, generally speaking, controlled environments with scheduled activity times and durations; known ingredients and processes; and (mostly) known outcomes.  This controlled environment allows building designers and engineers […]

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Top5 sustainability Chemistry

Chemistry Labs: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

21 Oct 2016 by

“Chemistry” labs have heavy chemical use and many fumehoods.  Their energy use is dominated by the need to heat, cool, and move huge amounts of air, to supply fumehood makeup air demand, ventilated cabinets, and / or specialized processes. The laboratory fumehood is a safety device designed to protect its user from exposure to hazardous […]

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I2SL Conference Blog

2016 I2SL Conference Impressions

05 Oct 2016 by

Last week, Joe Gibbons and I participated in and thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (i2sl.org) Conference.  Kansas City is a great conference venue, especially if you like BBQ (Joe and I certainly do!).  We learned a lot about large, complex, and progressive labs from all over the US and across the […]

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Top5 sustainability Biology Pharmaceutical

Biology / Pharmaceutical Labs: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

28 Jan 2016 by

“Biology” and “Pharmaceutical” Labs have moderate chemical use and few fume hoods.  Their energy use is dominated by the need to heat, cool, and move huge amounts of air, to maintain the required “Lab Air Change Rate”.  The Air Change Rate is a worker safety requirement specified by building codes and standards, and enforced by […]

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Top5 sustainability Engineering Physics

Physics / Engineering Labs: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

13 Jan 2016 by

“Physics” and “Engineering” style labs, though different in their research focus, share many design characteristics. Labs for these disciplines vary wildly in their needs, from “office” type spaces containing only light computing, to highly intensive controlled environment rooms with multiple, expensive mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. Design requirements could include low structure-borne vibration, low acoustical […]

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Top5 sustainability Library

Library: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

28 Dec 2015 by

“Library” spaces have a similar energy use profile as offices, but with some critical differences. Spaces in this group include large open areas of widely varying character, from traditional book storage stacks, to new collaborative learning environments, to spaces for computing and audiovisual interaction. The majority of library spaces are designed around human comfort, supporting […]

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Top5 sustainability Maker Space

Maker Spaces / Innovation Labs: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

15 Dec 2015 by

“Maker Spaces” and “Innovation Labs” are broad group of flexible research and learning environments, from “office” type spaces containing only light computing, to machine shops, to highly flexible open research labs.  Energy use is generally driven by equipment or process needs, environmental controls, and or provisions for future flexibility. The most effective EEMs for Maker […]

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Top5 sustainability Office Conference

Office / Conference / Classroom: “Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

02 Dec 2015 by

“Offices”, “conference” spaces, and “classrooms” share a similar energy profile. Spaces in this group include rooms for one individual, up to small groups of as many as 50 people. Spaces are designed around human comfort and productivity, supporting individual work, group interaction, and collaborative learning. Energy use is generally driven by the needs of human […]

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Sustainability Sustainable Green

“Top Five” Energy Efficiency Strategies by Building Type

23 Nov 2015 by

In 2014, Wilson Architects had more than 1.2 million gross square feet under design, including many types of buildings, large and small. These projects are predicted to use 58.5% less energy than comparable existing buildings of similar types.  Wilson Architects’ projects were far more efficient than the average of all projects reported for the AIA […]

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Sustainability Sustainable Green

AIA 2030 Commitment – 2014 Reporting

26 Oct 2015 by

In 2014, Wilson Architects signed the AIA 2030 Commitment. Our first year report, including more than 1.2 million gross square feet under design, shows that WA projects use 58.5% less energy than comparable existing buildings. Though we (barely) missed the current target of a 60% reduction, Wilson Architects projects were far more efficient than the […]

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Boston University Engineering Product Innovation Center EPIC

Boston University’s EPIC achieved LEED Gold® certification

07 Apr 2015 by

The Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at Boston University has achieved LEED Gold® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Located in a former guitar center, the adaptive reuse project creates a dynamic maker space with metal lathes, CNC, milling machines, 3D printers, and a variety of other tools. The 15,000 SF facility merges […]

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Harvard University Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering LISE

Laboratory Design News publishes Wilson / BR+A research on Cleanroom Energy Efficiency

12 Feb 2015 by

The latest edition of Laboratory Design Update links to ongoing research from the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL), including Wilson Architects / BR+A’s paper Right-sizing energy-efficient cleanrooms: Lessons learned from Harvard LISE and other peer institutions.  Here’s an excerpt: “Cleanrooms are energy hogs. But cleanroom energy use serves direct experimental needs. How do we balance these demanding requirements […]

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University of Massachusetts Amherst UMass Life Science Laboratories

Life Science Laboratories at UMass Amherst achieved LEED Gold® certification

29 Jan 2015 by

The new Life Science Laboratories (LSL) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst achieved LEED Gold® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LSL is a research facility dedicated to cross and transdisciplinary research. The laboratories are planned with a flexible ‘ballroom’ concept to enable a variety of future research. Vertical duct shafts are pushed to the ends, leaving […]

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University of Pittsburgh UPitt Petek

University of Pittsburgh Nuclear Physics Laboratory (NPL) achieves LEED Silver

17 Jan 2015 by

The new University of Pittsburgh Nuclear Physics Laboratory (NPL) achieved LEED SILVER certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) The Nuclear Physics Laboratory consists of several condensed matter research facilities, including the Levy, D’Urso and Petek Labs as well as a High Energy Physics suite and Physics Machine Shop. The Levy Lab, for example, […]

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