Utility distibution, vertical view. Image: NXL Architects
creation of the Life Lab leveraged
the many advantages of modular
construction, not least of which was the
speed in which the facility was up and
running. By synchronizing off-site and
on-site work, the lab opened almost
a year earlier than would have been
possible using conventional stick-built
construction. Perhaps most importantly,
there was considerably less disruption to
the surrounding campus community.
NEW LAB DESIGN THEORY IN PRACTICE
As venture teams started to occupy
the completed Life Lab, Shepley
Bulfinch’s interest in the results of
its intended connections and venture
developments grew. To gain insight,
the firm initiated a study to learn how
people were interacting with the space.
Simple infrared counting devices were
installed to anonymously register
the direction and number of people
passing a doorway. These collectively
allowed Shepley Bulfinch to study how
much time people were spending in
the laboratories (upstairs) versus the
open co-working space (downstairs).
After collecting data for two months, it
became clear that users were spending
time in the collaborative first-floor
space. Further study will be required to
verify these results since the data was
collected while the building was not
fully occupied. Shepley Bulfinch expects
to rerun this study in the near future.
Project team members include Shawmut
Design & Construction, Construction
Manager; SLB Group, Civil Engineer;
LeMessurier, Structural Engineer; R.G.
Vanderweil, MEP Engineer; Haley &
Aldrich, Geotechnical Engineer; Reed
Hildebran, Landscape Architect; Jensen
Hughes, Fire Protection; NRB (USA),
Inc., Structural Engineer (Modular) and
Manufacturing; and Triumph Modular
and NRB, Modular Contractor.
Nathaniel Finley, AIA, LEED AP
is an Associate, William Riley, AIA,
LEED AP is an Associate, and Luke
Voiland, AIA, LEED AP is a Principal at
Shepley Bulfinch, a national architecture
firm known for design excellence and
innovation. Shepley Bulfinch has offices
located in Boston, Houston and Phoenix.
View of the co-working open lab area with shared fume hood alcove beyond.
Flexible and reconfigurable seating on first floor encourages impromptu meetings and greater collaboration.