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The new home for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering was designed with a high level of protection in mind. Extra care was taken to ensure that instructional spaces are accessible when needed, and that research spaces have controlled access.

Designers worked with faculty members and staff researchers to ensure that all resources needed, from consumables to appropriate electrical power supply, were readily and safely accessible. While flexibility was designed into the system so that lab spaces—including specialized resource delivery systems—could be easily rearranged, safety and security were always central to the design process.

Care was taken to provide secure personnel access, through a layered approach, to increasing levels of research protocols. All laboratories also include state-of-the-art safety systems, so that both people and research are protected.

Securing research space for taking stable measurements with highly sensitive instrumentation was also configured into the overall building design. The building incorporates a number of these specialized areas. One example are the optics laboratories which are built on their own individual concrete slabs in the basement, isolated from vibrations that could affect measurements are eliminated. In another lab, multiple chemical hoods are separated in alcoves to prevent possible cross-contamination.

"The trend of blurring science disciplines has spurred the creation of academic environments that adapt to the rapid changes in pedagogy and research."
Geoffrey Lisle, AIA
Principal, BSA Life Structures