safety by doubling the number of buddies
in the lab and clearly delineating spaces for
donning personal protective equipment.
Quantifying the success of this facility
in meeting Trinity’s goals is the next
step. The university already received
$1.3 million dollars in energy rebates
as testament to meeting the project’s
energy goals. EYP and Trinity are now
collaborating on a behavioral research
program to document and assess how
the CSI is impacting student learning,
On the fifth floor of the building, two
engineering teaching labs open to a roof-top
experimental playground setup for solar
panels, but the space is flexible for change.
Bringing sustainable awareness to the
curriculum and providing an experimental
ability to improve and contribute to sustainable design is seamlessly woven into the
Each faculty member has a dedicated
research lab, some wet and some dry, some
large and some small. This provides flexibility for research interest areas and the huge
range of scales at which the faculty work.
Flexibility was of upmost importance. The
existing research labs limited instrumentation and the number of students who could
In the smaller labs, flexibility was addressed with lean inclusion of built-in storage, preference given to loose lab furniture
and provision of ceiling-mounted Unistrut.
In larger labs, the design team implemented
a two-pronged strategy: First, pairing labs
where possible; and second, limiting built
storage to the perimeter and providing a
flexible central experimentation area with a
suspended Unistrut grid. In one lab, designers even created an entire perimeter wall of
Unistrut supports and a variety of power,
dubbed the “Wall of Possibility”.
Pairing the labs allowed for connection
and sharing the write-up space for the
research students into a separate glass-en-
closed section. This enhanced the commu-
nity of the lab by creating a home base and
fostering cross-disciplinary inquiry and
building intellectual community. In the
fall of 2011, a pre-occupancy faculty and
student research project was completed,
reaching out to 135 faculty members
and 500 students. The post-occupancy
research is scheduled for the fall of 2015.
This research is part of EYP’s overall
research program to quantify how build-
ings perform and inform future projects.
The collaboration between the design
team and Trinity Univ. resulted in a living
lab with multidisciplinary labs that empower student-centered learning; architectural design that celebrates and fosters
design thinking in engineering science and
throughout the university; and modular
design in the teaching and research labs that
breaks the chains of space and flexibility
constraints. This renovation project is an
example of a successful partnership that ultimately developed transformative teaching
and research environments that celebrate
the engineering community and the focus
on engineering design.
EYP Laboratory Planning Expert Toni
Loiocano, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C,
has more than 10 years of design experience in
architecture and engineering. She specializes in
programming and planning science teaching
and research labs.
EYP Science Expert Leslie Sims, AIA,
LEED AP BD+C, has dedicated her career to
architectural planning and design for science,
engineering and technology projects, focusing
on highly specialized research labs.
Open group study spaces along the main circulation
spine of the Center for the Sciences and Innovation.
A narrow look at lab plumbing solutions
By: Lindsay Hock, Editor
Like all aspects of a lab environment, safety is any lab plumbing engineer’s first priority when designing plumbing
systems for labs. These solutions must also
help meet research needs. Every researcher
in a lab who deals with hazardous substances needs access to emergency fixtures
and eye washes that will help them remove
contaminants in the event of a mishap.
Lab plumbing engineers are also concerned with protecting the lab’s water source
from backflow and backsiphonage, as well as
the overall lab environment. All waste needs
to be treated before it can go into the sanitary sewer. And waste that can’t be treated on
site must be taken to a separate facility for
A discussion regarding the value of water
continues to elevate, there’s an increase in
fixed equipment options to reduce water
consumption in labs, such as reduced flow
faucets and glasswash units, and chilled
water-cooled sterilizers. “Additionally, more
scientific equipment is available with a
chilled water cooling option, increasing the
prevalence of process chilled water systems,”
says Laura Halverson, PE, LEED AP, Principal, AEI/Affiliated Engineers Inc. One of the
challenges with this is recognizing equipment that truly reduces the water consumption rather than reducing the instantaneous
load, which extends processing time and
results in the same consumption.
There has also been a shift away from
using glass piping for acid waste, and toward
using acid-resistant plastic for lab plumbing
solutions, which is cheaper than glass and
easier to install, according to Robert Thomas,
AIA, Principal of S&T at Leo A Daly.
Innovation in the systems used to process
acid waste is also another trend spotted by
lab plumbing engineers. While traditionally
labs have used tanks filled with limestone to
neutralize their acid waste, for today’s larger
labs, automated neutralization systems are
implemented that can handle higher flow
rates and are easier to maintain.
One of the biggest concerns for any
plumbing engineer on a lab project is to
protect the public water supply from being
contaminated by the hazardous chemicals
used in labs. Public health is of utmost
continued on page 28