Heavily used spaces were those placed at natural circulation nodes like elevator cores, with
provisions for impromptu work sessions, such
as marker or announcement boards (Figure 4).
Spaces enclosed enough to feel somewhat
private, but open enough to see passersby,
were popular. Acoustical control is important.
Being close to busy space is an asset, but some
means of controlling the accompanying noise
Large spaces had a role, providing areas for
team building and socializing, as well as more
formal meetings. Sets of smaller rooms that
can be joined into larger spaces are particularly useful. Large meeting spaces arranged to
allow public use in the evening or weekends
can encourage community outreach. It’s
important to remember that by reducing the
number of interaction spaces the usage of the
limited amount of space available increases—thus upping the amount of interaction.
Incorporating too many interaction spaces can
result in limited usage.
Technology is also an important consider-
ation. People must have a way of sharing their
work. Both high- and low-tech options should
be considered. Options can start with a simple
whiteboard, or can be as complex as the ability
of multiple laptops to share a presentation
monitor. The technology should be adaptable,
Described as the most extensive attempt, to
date, to elucidate the socio-spatial dynamics
of successful scientific research collaborations
and test assumptions about proximity and
social networks, the study validates this newer
direction which architects and engineers are
applying to lab designs.
A benchmarking study by SmithGroupJJR
examined the quantities, location and character of collaboration space in twelve projects;
two from six different clients. The mean percentage of space devoted to collaboration was
8%, with a minimum of 2% and a maximum
of 12% (Figure 2). Three different organizational strategies were identified: within a core,
diffused throughout the facility or placed
along a main thoroughfare (Figure 3).
In addition to developing analytical statistics, client feedback regarding collaboration
space was also sought. General conclusions are
that smaller interaction spaces are better used.
Open spaces weren’t as well used as those with
some level of privacy, even just glass walls.
facilities. While providing access to the equip-
ment is primary, it’s equally critical that insti-
tutions provide adequate staff support to help
researchers utilize the technology. Having the
appropriate support infrastructure in place
both maximizes the impact that these types of
spaces can make and reduces underutilization
that can plague these types of installations.
Reviewing the research, it becomes clear
that simply providing collaboration space isn’t
enough. Workers aren’t drawn to different
types of collaborative spaces in equal numbers, but rather choose based on the attributes
of the space and how well it fits the work at
hand. In order to reap the benefits of such
space, it must be as carefully designed as any
other. Location, size, visibility and technical
capacity are all critical elements in how and
when a space will be used. The importance
of collaboration to an organization’s mission
must also be considered when weighing the
type and distribution of collaborative spaces.
In doing so, buildings provide an opportunity
to create a tangible expression of an organization’s values. When the design team understands and internalizes the mission, research
buildings can become an integral part of the
research itself, rather than simply a place
where research occurs.
Mark Kranz is VP/design principal and Adam
Denmark is Principal/laboratory programmer
and planner at SmithGroupJJR ( www.smith-group.com), an 800-person architecture and engineering firm that specializes in the science and
Lab Analytics Software
Phoenix Controls has introduced version 1.2 of
Supervisor, its dashboard analytics software for
airflow controls systems. The latest version adds
comprehensive alarm management functionality to quickly identify and rectify equipment
abnormalities. Alarms can be setup to notify
facility management for energy waste or safety
situations that may occur in labs. Notifications
can be pushed via email or text message to
ensure staff is alerted quickly to critical issues.
Supervisor is a Web-based interface that displays data from BACnet-capable devices.
Phoenix Controls, www.phoenixcontrols.com
Surface and Mat Cleaner
Desco has introduced a four-pack Reztore surface and mat
cleaner in 16-oz trigger spray
bottles. The cleaner is used to
remove dust, grease, grime, fingerprints, solder flux and other
contaminants from ESD mats
and other surfaces without
degrading the surface’s ability
to drain electrostatic charges.
Reztore doesn’t contain silicone
or other substances that will
leave an insulating residue on
surfaces. It doesn’t contain alkali, ammonia or other harsh chemicals that are
common to many cleaners. There are no dyes
or coloring agents. The cleaner is low volatility,
non-flammable and non-toxic.
Urethane Flooring System
is a flexible 100%
system in both a
solid or sparse flake
flexibility and has
superior noise reduction properties. Internal
testing has shown there is a 25% noise decibel
reduction with Steri-Soft over traditional hard
epoxy broadcast floors and other similar hard
surfaces. Some features of the resilient flooring
system include: high crack resistance, UV/
stain resistance, ergonomic, monolithic, noise
reduction and lowers risk of musculoskeletal