2011 Jg08 509

Research techniques evolve rapidly but laboratories are difficult to adapt. Laboratory buildings are also notoriously expensive to construct. What new ideas can we invent to optimize flexibility and long term value in our laboratory designs? Can we develop new best design practices, construction efficiencies and operational governance systems for this building typology? Can we lower the life cycle costs of high-quality research laboratory buildings and make architecture a partner in accelerating the rate of discovery?

The study and design of research laboratory spaces has been a fundamental component of our practice since its founding in the 1960’s. Working in close collaboration with some of the most respected scientists and research institutions in the world, we have developed a diverse portfolio of world-class research laboratory buildings. Building upon years of collaboration and incremental study of this important building typology, we have begun a new research initiative: the Research Laboratory Optimization Study.

Through this study, Ennead is identifying opportunities to optimize long-term value in research laboratory buildings. In collaboration with specialty consultants, manufacturers, and contractors, we are bringing together diverse expertise and knowledge to better understand fundamental building systems (structural, mechanical, and fire safety) and their impact on other systems, local code regulations, and the overall construction costs of these facilities. The goal of this study is to develop recommendations and planning strategies to maximize long term value and accelerate delivery (i.e. speed to market) without reducing the experiential qualities, institutional research objectives, or long-term flexibility of future research laboratories.