strong bones intact and large structural
spans—plus 16-ft floor-to-floor heights—
was ideal to renovate.
Lab teaching shifted to smaller class
sizes with more flexible systems, affording collaborative work and hands-on,
problem-based learning. These new open,
adaptable labs offered flexibility for ev-er-changing research and researchers.
The renovation required replacement and
upgrades to the entire system’s infrastructure
serving the two floors, including a new, more
efficient variable air volume HVAC system,
new plumbing and electrical distribution and
a new fire protection system. With our client
focused on the long-term view, many of the
MEP/FP systems were designed to accommodate potential future phases and changes.
MARK JEFFERSON SCIENCE COMPLEX,
EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIV.
Funded by the university through the
sale of bonds and a 4% tuition increase
earmarked for capital projects, this complex,
four-phased project at Eastern Michi-
gan Univ. included an 81,000-sf addition
in Phase I to the Mark Jefferson Science
Building. Phase 2 renovated 140,000 sf of the
existing building constructed in 1969 that
was in dire need of refurbishment. The final
campus landmarks, or un-loved “white
elephants” many wish to raze, if economics
didn’t dictate otherwise.
Looking at federal research funding in the
U.S., starting in the 1970s, we see a sustained
climb until about 2002 and then a decline
(if adjusted for inflation). When the Great
Recession began, the stimulus packages of
2008/2009 gave engineering research and
infrastructure a slight shot in the arm; but
adjusted for inflation, federal research funding
in the U.S. today has remained essentially flat
since 2002. This new reality has caused many
institutions to re-think capital projects and
make available funds go further to meet their
current and future research needs.
There are convincing arguments to start
over and build new, but re-use also can
seem attractive. When viewed as ugly and
unloved, some buildings are challenged to
grow past their reputations. Often, it simply takes creative thinking and resources to
transform an outdated, unloved building
into a viable, positive contributor to an
institution’s mission and campus fabric.
Below, we’ll examine three recently com-
pleted projects. The first is a floor-by-floor
renovation at Univ. of Cincinnati, moderniz-
ing a 1968 lab to create a new campus center
for teaching and research. The second is East-
ern Michigan Univ., an addition/renovation
establishing a new front entry, lab, office and
collaboration space and a floor-by-floor ren-
ovation of the existing structure. The third
example is Univ. of North Carolina, which,
after years of study, concluded a full-scale
renovation of the Mary Ellen Jones building
as a single project was the best solution; so
renovating the entire interior and replacing
the building skin resulted.
RIEVESCHL HALL, UNIV. OF CINCINNATI
Funded with four capital plans, this Univ.
of Cincinnati eight-story building project
consisted of multiple renovation phases
implemented over time and funding cycles.
Our firm’s role began with Phase 4, the renovation of the Dept. of Biology’s sixth and
seventh floors, with additional mechanical
support. This 42,000-sf renovation housed
teaching and research labs, offices and
conference space. Phase 5 brought 52,000
sf of renovations for chemistry and biology
research labs, offices and conference space.
This project was completed in collaboration
with GBBN Architects.
With minimal land available for additions or new construction on this dense
campus, the proposed programs argued for
renovation. While dated, the structure, with
LaboratoryDesign|MAY|JUNE 2015 18
Biological and chemical materials sucked into building
vacuum lines can be transferred to other labs.
VACUU•LAN® local vacuum networks are installed
entirely within labs, providing vacuum to bench
turrets, fume hoods and biosafety cabinets without
• Fast installation
• Conserves energy and bench space
• Improved vacuum performance
• Ideal in new buildings and renovations
THROUGH VACUUM LINES
Many in-lab vacuum networks
can be installed in one day!
Contact us for project support, or
to schedule a Lunch & Learn
Toll Free 888-882-6730
firstname.lastname@example.org Experts in Vacuum for Science
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