Lab Design Conference Announces Facility Tours

Lindsay Jawor
March 18, 2019, 10:42 a.m.

As part of the 2019 Lab Design Conference agenda, tours of exemplary lab facilities including those to which attendees would not otherwise have access are an integral part of the overall Lab Design Conference experience. Attendees will get the chance to visit innovative laboratory facilities in the Orlando area on Wednesday, May 1. Breakfast and round-trip transportation from the conference hotel to these sites will be provided.

Please note that a separate fee will apply for admission to the lab tours. Both morning and afternoon tours are being offered.

Sign up today, as space will be limited!

UF Research and Academic Center in Lake Nona

Located in Orlando Florida's Lake Nona Medical City, the University of Florida Research and Academic Center (UFRAC) was founded in 2012 to serve as a bridge between research, education and community service programs of the university's other campuses with partnering organizations in Central Florida. The 110,000 sq. ft. facility has more than 450 UF faculty members, students, administrators and staff working in the center within the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, carrying out basic, clinical and translational research in drug discovery and development.

The facility houses the College of Pharmacy's Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology, the Cancer Research Education and Engagement (CaRE2) Health Equity Center, the Center for Quality Medication Management and a nationally ranked Pharm. D. graduate program, as well as the College of Medicine's Institute for Therapeutic Innovation. Together they create a multidisciplinary structure here in Lake Nona that provides an ideal collaborative environment across all levels including research, therapy development and improved overall patient health. Specifically, the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology is one of the first centers to use mathematical modeling to increase effectiveness in drug trials, while the Institute of Therapeutic Innovation focuses on developing anti-infective therapies for pathogens of public health importance, including diseases such as dengue, hepatitis C and mycobacterium tuberculosis. The facility includes Biosafety Level 2 and Biosafety Level 3-certified laboratories, specialized facilities designed so researchers can work safely with these infectious pathogens to design potential treatments. These laboratories have guidelines that help maintain a secure environment for the research, researchers and adjacent communities, while allowing the researchers to create therapies for some of today's most challenging infectious diseases.

The design of the UFRAC is also state of the art. The only LEED platinum building in the Orlando, the UFRAC aligns flexible lab design with energy-efficient building systems to provide a sustainable research facility. The specific needs of lab users on each floor drove the implementation of energy-conservation strategies based on safety, flexibility and cost. As an example, the pumped water energy-recovery system that serves the specialized labs mitigates safety considerations associated with the risk of cross-contamination between outside air and exhaust, and has a payback period of seven years. Total energy recovery units (ERUs) pre-condition outside air for the classrooms, offices and general labs to recover heating and cooling energy from the exhaust airstreams. These ERUs reduce the peak cooling load by 180 tons, and have an overall payback of six years.

Active chilled beams in the office and general lab spaces decouple the space cooling loads from outside air ventilation and use one-tenth the amount of transport energy as an equivalently sized all-air system. Distribution systems for lab gases, power and HVAC facilitate renovations within labs, while avoiding the need to disturb systems outside of the respective individual lab. Overhead service panels in the large, open labs provide easy "plug-and-play" access to lab gases, data and both normal/emergency power at each individual bench. Piped services for the labs allow for 20 percent expansion. Dedicated electrical panels for each individual lab area provide spare normal and emergency electrical circuits. The lab ventilation systems support the addition of lab fume hoods and snorkels with strategic connection points and expandable capacity.

Building opened: August 2012

Architect: HOK

Tour time: 9 a.m.

Archibald Granville Bush Science Center at Rollins College

The $29.6 million renovation and expansion of the 80,000-square-foot, three-story Archibald Granville Bush Science Center at Rollins College was completed in 2013. Originally built in 1968, it had only 20 windows, earning its nickname “the vault.”

The renovation, partial demolition and addition resulted in the current 104,000 sq. ft. structure. It includes 203 interior windows and 134 exterior windows, a three-story glass atrium, a 1,500-square-foot astronomy pad, 32 student areas, 15 classrooms, 15 instructional labs, 7,500 square feet of research lab space, and 18 student/ faculty lounges.

The center is a state-of-the-art facility supporting interdisciplinary science learning and research. The building provides flexible neighborhoods of spaces shared by previously isolated disciplines in the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics & computer science, and psychology.
Selective demolition enabled the creation of an addition—designed in the historic campus’s characteristic Spanish-Mediterranean style—providing much-needed program space. The remaining space was modernized and the interior reorganized to foster serendipitous intellectual interaction across disciplines, conceptually reinforcing the centrality of the sciences to a liberal arts education.

The three-story atrium is a campus destination where students, faculty, and visitors meet informally to share ideas, debate theories, and develop new avenues for inquiry and investigation. The expansion of the center presented the college with the opportunity to enhance a key landscape open space at the campus core by removing vehicular circulation and transforming the area into a series of appropriately scaled and functional pedestrian gathering spaces and paths. 

A model of sustainability, it has two man-made ponds for water filtration and is US Green Building Council LEED Certified Gold.

Building opened: August 2013

Architect: EYP Architecture & Engineering

Tour time: 9 a.m.

BRIDG: Center for Neovation

Located at NeoCity—a 500-acre master-planned intuitive community of innovation in Osceola County, less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and within a mile of the Florida Turnpike—BRIDG is a unique public-private partnership at the heart of a technology-based economic transformation taking place in Central Florida.

As an industry-led, not-for-profit organization for advanced sensors, semiconductors, photonics and other advanced nanoscale systems, BRIDG provides research and development capabilities and infrastructure for manufacturing processes and materials geared toward system miniaturization and smart sensor innovation.

BRIDG operates a highly versatile 200mm microelectronics fabrication facility—a 109,000 sf building with nearly 60,000 sf of laboratory/manufacturing space that includes two cleanrooms; one operating at Class 100 standards and the other at Class 10,000.

Focused on the innovative manufacturable processes, materials and equipment for next-generation sensors and future high-tech products, BRIDG serves as the catalyst to bring high-value, quality jobs to Florida.  As companies get products through development cycles, BRIDG provides the necessary infrastructure (talent, equipment, background/foreground IP, etc.) to test ideas and concepts, acting as the bridge to product commercialization. BRIDG is the state-of-the-art “boutique” lab/fab facility open and flexible enough to keep up with the ever-evolving pace of technology with space to accommodate a variety of partner-funded activities.

Building opened: April 2017

Architect: HOK

Tour time: 3 p.m.

University of Central Florida, Research I building

Research I began its programming and design process in October 2014. At the time of its planning, only one end user department was known—the Materials Characterization Facility (MCF). The MCF provides researchers and industrial partners a place to analyze materials for research and education—using a myriad of special equipment such as transmission electron microscopes. This UCF program receives over $6M of research grants annually. The MCF spaces required intense planning and design to accommodate the equipment and research needs of this group.

The remainder of the project was designed as generic labs of three (small, medium and large) to accommodate research programs of various sizes. The intent with this design was to maximize the quantity and size of labs that the team could build, with future build-out needs being provided by individual research start-up funds.

The ultimate program of the building includes 79 NFPA 45 labs, 84 offices, conference rooms break rooms, and support rooms. The building is three stories, and is 105,775 gross sq. ft. The Building was started in two Phases—Phase 1 was roughly two-thirds of the total building area, with Phase 2 as the remainder.

The construction of Phase 1 started in January 2016. Well into construction, funding was provided for Phase 2 of construction, which started in September 2016. Therefore the project team had one project site and one building, with two phases that were months apart in construction progress. To complicate matters, mid-construction the University began to make decisions on the occupants for the generic labs. This essentially created a design project within a construction project. Ultimately, facilities recommended a two month schedule extension to Phase 1 for the added work, and that Phase 2 be extended to align with the Phase 1 deadline so the building could open as one structure. This greatly simplified the commissioning and turnover process, and ultimately proved to be a successful strategy.

Building opened: January 2018

Architect: Ponikvar and Associates

Tour times: 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.



Sign up today, as space will be limited!

Please note that a separate fee, apart from your Lab Design Conference registration fee, will apply for admission to the lab tours. Round-trip transportation from the hotel to the tour venue(s) and a breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Orlando are included in your tour fee.

Questions? Please contact Kelly Somers, Conference Coordinator, at 973-920-7488 or for details.

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