20 LaboratoryDesign|JUL|AUG 2014
be accessible from the interior of the class labs,
as well as from the exterior corridor, without
disruption to the class. Some of the major key
drivers of the lab design were:
• Visibility of teacher from each student station.
• Adequate space for demonstrations and
movement throughout the classroom.
• Ability to easily reconfigure the classrooms
into different seating arrangements.
• Visibility into the labs from the corridor to
see “teaching on display”.
As a result of these design goals, the design
and construction team introduced some playful elements into the lab spaces to promote
maximum functionality and create a highly
engaging learning environment. Bright colors
were used in the labs to energize users and set
the tone for exploratory research activities.
Full expanses of the wall were covered with
whiteboard paint to establish large areas for
teaching and impromptu problem solving.
Optimizing flexibility in all the environments
has allowed for the best possible classroom/
lab utilization. The labs, with the exception of
the chemistry lab, are designed with adaptable
workspaces and tables that can be reconfigured, and are moveable and adjustable in
height to accommodate a number of research
and study activities.
Additionally, all service drops to the tables
(vacuum, data, power and compressed air) are
housed in the ceilings and can be easily relocated depending on the configuration needs
of the room. Each lab is equipped with at least
one variable-air-volume hood to accommodate
and anticipate a changing curriculum. The lab
is also equipped with a building RO/DI system
which delivers purified water to the various
labs. Lab utilities such as snorkel hoods are also
accessed from ceiling panels, and pivot easily
and extend down to the work tables.
In addition to the specialized spaces already
mentioned, the Gerrish Business School wing
includes two computer labs, 40 offices, 12
classrooms, a flexible learning classroom and
various team building lab rooms. The team
building labs are equipped with four tables and
seating to accommodate five to six students.
To promote interactive learning, each table is
equipped with flat panel televisions and con-
trols. A centrally located teaching station con-
trols the televisions at each table, as well as the
wall displays. The Bloomberg room in the busi-
ness wing was designed as a specialized class-
room for management students, as they learn
how to research and analyze market and finan-
cial data using financial tickers, computers and
televisions displayed around the classroom.
THE NUTS & BOLTS: CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGES
A nine-month pre-construction program
was instrumental in prioritizing the needs
of the college and assuring their requirements were addressed for many complex
lab (for both science and business) spaces. Sustainability is a priority and part of
Endicott’s overall master plan for the campus,
therefore all HVAC and lighting required
in-depth studies to ensure compliance. This
required a peer review consultant, as mandated by the building stretch codes, to review
the MEP systems proposed for the project,
evaluating and analyzing all proposed systems
for maximum energy efficiency. Additionally,
when building began, a collaborative construction approach was used as this method
maximizes value and minimizes waste. This
approach focuses on the overall goal of the
project, rather than individual elements, utilizing team-based schedules and decentralizes
This project on an active campus presented
a number of challenges. Special attention was
paid to site logistics and the timing of various
construction activities to avoid any major dis-
ruptions to those using the adjoining campus
facilities. Site management and safety were
important throughout the process. The new
building occupies a very important previously
developed site on the main approach to cam-
pus. Situated on a pond at the intersection
of the student dormitories and the academic
campus, the building is ideally located oppo-
site the dining hall and bookstore.
One of the more challenging aspects of this
project was the siting. Located at what is considered the center of the campus, the building is
flagged on three sides with high-traffic pedestrian walkways. Additionally, during the final
stages of construction, a bagel/bakery shop was
added to the plan. Quickly identifying and initiating open dialogue with the bakery operation,
working cooperatively with the design, mechanical and finish space requirements, ensured this
change to the overall project wouldn’t delay the
building completion schedule.
The project team’s goal was to manage capital resources to deliver a dynamic multi-use
environment that engages faculty and students
through promoting collaboration. To date, it’s
evident that students and faculty are enjoying
and using the building in the ways the team
had planned and more. The flexibility of each
space encourages a diversity of uses, inviting
people to appropriate a media room, a corridor, a wall or a lab bench, and use it in the way
that best suits their academic needs.
Nick Koulbanis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Tsoi/
Kobus & Associates has more than 10 years of experience and has a range of expertise that includes college and university, S&T, healthcare and commercial projects. Tyler Virden is a project executive at
Windover Construction and is responsible for overall
management and direction of assigned projects.
The future of science
continued from page 17
A central two-story atrium unifies the two schools (science and business) by serving as open social area to encourage collaboration between students and professors.