University of Rhode Island's Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences Tour

Wednesday, September 21
5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  Outside view of the CBLS building. Architect: Payette. Photo credit: Warren Jagger Photography.

 

Outside view of the CBLS building

Architect: Payette
Photo credit: Warren Jagger Photography

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the University of Rhode Island's (URI) Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences (CBLS) in Kingston, Rhode Island. This new, 142,000 gross-square-foot facility contains teaching and research laboratories, a genomics laboratory with DNA sequencing equipment, and an aquaria laboratory. Approximately 30 faculty members and their research groups are housed in the facility, along with the teaching laboratories and life sciences classrooms. The L-shaped plan is organized around a five-story, naturally ventilated atrium that connects the high-technology research wing with the low-technology teaching wing. The coexistence of these programs at each floor helps facilitate interaction between faculty and students while serving as the "living room" of the building. This cost-effective building was constructed for an impressively low $314 per square foot and was completed in 2009.

The CBLS facility is the first step in the realization of a sustainable science and technology hub in the northern-most section of URI's campus, replacing antiquated teaching and research facilities previously scattered throughout the university. The north section of campus is linked to the southern quadrangle through the extension of a pedestrian promenade.

Sustainable design and construction measures were employed throughout the building, which is certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold. These measures include:

  • Natural ventilation
  • Glycol loop heat recovery system
  • Water management system that recycles graywater
  • Green roof
  • Daylight harvesting technology
  • Framing and interior finish wood from renewable sources
  • Locally sourced materials
  • Rain gardens
  • Sunshading
  • Optimization of building zoning and distribution of building systems
Laboratory interior in the CBLS building. Architect: Payette. Photo credit: Warren Jagger Photography.  

Laboratory interior in the CBLS building

Architect: Payette
Photo credit: Warren Jagger Photography

 

CBLS blurs the line between biology and technology by creating connections between exterior and interior spaces. Generous operable windows in the classrooms, offices, and shared spaces allow for natural ventilation throughout significant portions of the building. The interior spaces are designed to allow natural light to permeate the building into research and teaching spaces. Within the building fenestration, shading devices are configured to minimize the heat gain specific to the orientation of the facade in order to optimize the performance of the envelope. The atrium provides a visible connection between the interior of the building and the surrounding landscape, including the rain garden. Indigenous plant species, which naturally thrive in the Rhode Island climate, were employed in both the rain and roof gardens.

Transportation was provided to and from the event for tour attendees and a pre-tour reception with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments was held at the facility.

The following speakers welcomed tour participants:

  • John Sinnott, Gilbane Building Company
  • Jim Collins, Jr., Payette
  • Rick Rhodes, University of Rhode Island

I2SL would like to extend a special thanks to our URI CBLS evening tour and reception sponsor:

Gilbane Building Company logo

Gilbane Building Company provides construction and facilities-related services for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a family-run company, Gilbane has office locations across the country and an international presence through its subsidiary, Innovative Technology Solutions, Inc. (ITSI).