used more cost effectively.
As noted, RBB is now motivating research departments to reduce their
lab space needs, particularly at times when grant funding is limited. But
RBB can only be applied if it’s within a group’s ability to incrementally
grow and shrink their lab space based upon funding levels.
MANAGING THE INDIRECT EXPENDITURE
Making up the other half of the total grant funding, indirect expenses are
typically associated with program administration, communications, capital
debt service, utilities and other facilities expenditures. Three areas to consider are: reducing PI space allocation, energy costs and space utilization.
REDUCING THE PI ALLOCATED SPACE
Supporting the notion of downsizing lab spaces, the concept of an
open lab has replaced closed, highly customized labs for PIs. By taking a
much more universal, modular design approach, open labs are all about
making the space highly flexible, adaptable and efficient.
In utilizing this concept, PI allocated space has been dramatically
reduced, and in an open lab plan, redundant spaces can be eliminated.
For example, researchers can share areas such as fume hood alcoves, tissue
culture rooms and microscopy rooms, if placed in close proximity to the
open lab. Researchers are also able to reduce their footprint by sharing
required, but not constantly used equipment such as refrigerated centrifuges, shakers and ice machines.
The recent design of Loyola Univ.’s Center for Translational Research
and Education (CTRE), a new biomedical research building near Chicago,
is an example of the open-planned concept. By adopting this through
the co-location of groups, enhancing shared areas and equipment and
planning more efficient and flexible space, SmithGroupJJR lab planners
helped downsize lab spaces from about 1,400 sf/PI to 1,000 sf/PI.
As noted, downsizing expensive lab real estate is one strategy for cutting costs. Nonetheless, specifying energy-efficient systems is another
important part of the equation.
As a lab’s largest mechanical expense, ventilation is a key area to target.
As such, designers are taking a good, hard look at how much air goes
through the space—air changes per hour—as well as strategies for reducing the heat load.
Regarding the former, variable-speed air handlers can be used to reduce
air changes and increase them, when necessary. Another energy-intensive
element is fume hoods. In fact, regular fume hoods can consume as much
energy as an entire residence. Variable-volume fume hoods have been
LaboratoryDesign|MAR|APR 2014 17
continued on page 18
UCSF’s Smith Cardiovascular Research Building virtually eliminates rated corridors
with the majority of the circulation between labs is provided via double loaded equipment corridors—achieving a 76% efficiency of the floor plate. (Image: SmithGroupJJR)
Why do you
think it’s called
Experts in Vacuum for Science
Toll Free 888-882-6730
Lab vacuum quality varies a lot, not only in
vacuum depth and pumping speed, but also
Complicating matters is that many scientists
can’t tell lab planners exactly what vacuum
How can you be sure to specify vacuum
that meets the needs of the scientists?
7DON; ZLWK; 9$&88% 5$1';; :H·YH; EHHQ; GHGL-cated to vacuum innovation for science labs
IRU; RYHU; ;;; \HDUV;; :H·OO; KHOS; \RX; DGGUHVV;
issues of vacuum depth, pumping speed,
cross-contamination, sustainability, energy
So if you say…ummm…when asked
how to specify vacuum for a new or
renovated lab, it’s time to contact
We take the “ummm”
out of vacuum.