- FIRM PROFILE
Laboratory facilities are highly complex and specialized. Academic teaching laboratories, corporate research laboratories, testing facilities, public health laboratories, pharmaceutical facilities, biomedical research laboratories, and biocontainment research facilities all require that comfort, safety, flexibility, future growth, standards, regulations and energy usage be balanced. Successful laboratory design depends on managing multiple criteria in increasingly sophisticated facilities. more
Specialty systems include many of the low-voltage systems that comprise the tools necessary for information professionals to produce work. Many applications such as e-mail, messaging, telephony, security systems and building environmental controls depend on the LAN and WAN and require a robust combination of physical hardware and logical configuration to operate correctly. As we learned by watching the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, benefits can be realized by more closely involving the design team, the contractor and the owner during the implementation phase to ensure that systems operate as intended and can prove themselves fully during a performance evaluation. more
While overall data center efficiency can be increased through server virtualization and consolidation efforts, the use of these technologies is also pushing many data centers’ power and cooling densities beyond their original infrastructure capacity. These trends, along with the EPA’s recent report on data center inefficiencies, have caused many data center owners to reevaluate the design of their facilities and to look for innovative ideas to optimize their next generation mission critical facilities.1 more
The movement to provide more sustainable school buildings continues to grow. At the same time, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and recent campus shootings are driving education institutions to construct safer campuses and more secure buildings. Although these movements appear to have little in common, they complement each other in several areas. more
The reemergence of our core cities as more active and vibrant communities brings pressures and challenges to those who design. The density of buildings, traffic, the scarcity of land, and a competitive spirit among developers are all factors that work together to push modern buildings higher.
Sometimes, especially in motion pictures, we envision high-rise buildings as towering skyscrapers. While this is the romantic and not always incorrect vision, a “high” rise can be as short as eight to 10 floor levels. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a high-rise building as a building with an occupied floor that is 75 feet above the level where the firefighting apparatus would stage firefighting operations. That low threshold requires several specific features to be designed into buildings to promote life safety and allow for emergency responders to safely and quickly access the higher levels of the building, thereby saving lives and considerable invested resources. With that fairly simple definition, all high-rise design challenges should be the same, right? Perhaps some additional discussion is warranted before we make that determination! more
In its purest form, water is one of the most aggressive solvents known and will dissolve a material until the solution reaches saturation. Pure water is also a critical ingredient in many business ventures; manufacturing, power generation, health care, pharmaceuticals, research, food production and processing, etc. Each of these business sectors has a different but specific use for high purity water. Water purity is relative to its use. Different industries have different critical levels or types of impurities; microelectronics – TOCs (total organic compounds); power – silica; pharmaceutical – bacteria; research –conductivity/resistivity.The specific purity needs, along with the analysis of the source water, form the basis of treatment to produce high purity water. more
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is undergoing significant changes at its Atlanta campuses. With many of its buildings constructed in the 1950s and ’60s, the main campus now requires facility upgrades to improve its ability to fulfill its missions, which include being a national leader in research and response to the threat of bioterrorism. more
If a desktop computer had the capability to transmit data at 10 Gigabits per second, one could transfer an entire DVD movie in 30 seconds-a movie that otherwise would require two hours to consume. The speed of 10GBase-T is so much greater than 1000Base-T that it dwarfs the speed at which modern hard disk drives read and write to the system bus.
When hardware that can use this technology becomes commercially available, the opportunities for working directly from centralized data storage will be possible. This can potentially change the concept of using local storage. If used in a current desktop, the computer would quickly become overwhelmed with data. more
In the pursuit of science, competition for the best and the brightest minds has become fierce. Institutions and organizations often use laboratory facilities as recruiting tools to lure top researchers to their team. Today’s laboratories emphasize architectural design by featuring natural light, open floor plans, and flexible layouts, while at the same time promoting comfort, collaboration and productivity. more