LaboratoryDesign|SEP|OCT 2014 15
with an adaptable support zone—one that could serve as either wet lab or
support space depending on the researchers’ needs. The remaining hard-wall spaces were designed as “flexible support rooms,” or FSRs. The FSRs
contained basic fixed elements, such as a sink, but provided a variety of
configuration options and MEP system connections to support different
functions: fume hood room, tissue culture, microscopy and more.
The final project design incorporating all other site, building and systems considerations satisfies the need for easy modification at all scales
within the context of a highly collaborative environment. Wet and dry lab
areas, pictured above, are convertible depending on JAX GM’s growth;
each lab area is fully adaptable to a myriad of workflow needs, and the lab
casework is adjustable. Other small-scale considerations that contributed
to the overall flexibility are:
• Location of hard monuments (sinks, fume hoods, etc.).
• Soffits designed to accept relocated partitions.
• MEP infrastructure for wet lab space built in to dry lab areas.
• Shared support resources—reduces individual scientist’s space needs.
• Floor-to-floor height optimization.
• Location of core resources.
• Distribution of lab gases.
• Component-based lab benches and systems.
THEORY TO REALITY
A successful design can only truly be measured by its ability to function in the way the clients intended. To date, JAX has recruited 14 PIs
mostly focused on wet science, representing 40% of their overall target.
This wet-heavy hiring trend is likely to continue and will serve as the lab’s
first significant test of its pliability. John Fitzpatrick, senior director of
facilities services at JAX, is confident that the lab will respond as planned
both through densification and potential conversion of dry lab space.
Fitzpatrick also noted that a big reason for JAX’s focus on flexibility was
the de novo nature of the facility.
The Jackson Laboratory is still at the very beginning of its new mission. JAX GM will officially open in October 2014, and users will quickly
relocate from their temporary facilities on the adjacent UConn medical
campus to their permanent new home.
Richard L. Kobus is a founding principal at TK&A with almost 40 years of
experience in designing lab environments. Steve Palumbo is an associate at
TK&A with over 10 years of experience with lab projects.
Final building layout, as a result of conceptual studies and advisory committee findings. Image: Tsoi/Kobus & Associates
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