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Sustainability Opportunities for Mixed-Use Academic Medical Research Facilities

Stephen Turner, Brown University
Jonathan Friedan, PE, Ballinger


The multidisciplinary academic medical research facility offers many opportunities for environmentally responsible design. A primary objective of these mixed-use facilities is to foster productive interaction across research groups. Unifying diverse space types-wet lab, dry lab, animal, FMRI, electron microscopy, office, teaching, meeting, and common areas-poses significant challenges for flexibility and sustainability.

The interaction of these spaces, many in close proximity to each other, can significantly increase energy and resource intensity unless skillfully responded to by the design team. Churn rate and associated space adaptation in academic research facilities require future flexibility to enhance sustainability. The integrated design approach is particular suited to meeting these challenges.

This paper/presentation shares experience with project and design methodologies for large teams used on recent multidisciplinary research facilities. Specific design concepts are explored-some incorporated into recent projects and other more aggressive strategies suggested for future projects. The presentation emphasizes experience with integrated design teams and sustainability in built projects, with specific examples drawn from Brown University's 200,000 square foot Life Sciences Research Facility, presently moving from design into construction.


Stephen Turner, P.E., is a Mechanical Engineer with Brown University, where he is responsible for mechanical systems design coordination and commissioning in new construction and renovations, as well as upgrade and expansion of central utilities. Prior to joining Brown University, Turner was a Principal with Chelsea Group Ltd. providing IAQ consulting services to Fortune 500 and government agencies for IAQ investigations, remediation management, product development, marketing programs, training programs, and technical projects. Previously, he administered the State of Florida's energy programs in six counties including policy analysis, program promotion, coordination with utility companies, site surveys, client financial analyses, and loan evaluations.

Turner is Chairman of the Technical Advisory Group representing the USA in ISO Technical Committee 205 Building Environment Design, where international standards for quality in building design are under development. He also serves as liaison from ISO to CEN (the European Standards Committee) for Building Environment Design. Turner is a member of the Rhode Island Building Code Commission, and sits on ASHRAE's Standards Project Committee revising ANSI/ASHRAE 55, the industry standard for thermal comfort. He was a charter member of the drafting committee for the IAQ Appendix to the International Performance Monitoring and Verification Protocol, organized by the US Department of Energy. Turner is a registered Professional Engineer in New York, a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional, and a Certified Energy Auditor with the Florida Department of Community Affairs.

Jonathan Friedan, P.E., as Principal and Director of Engineering for Ballinger, has spearheaded the engineering systems programming, planning, and design of major academic and corporate research facilities as well as infrastructure / central utility plants for the firm over the past 15 years. He wrote the engineering sections of the National Science Foundation guidebook on research facility planning and design. His team has been recognized with an ASHRAE regional technology award (University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Nursing) and a national technology award (Rowan University). Jonathan has also presented at numerous forums on cost effective research facility systems design including last year's presentation at the Laboratories for the 21st Century conference entitled "Anticipating Changing Energy Markets in Laboratory Facility Design." His current projects include a new Life Sciences Research building for Brown University, a new Chemistry Research building for Johns Hopkins University, and a new research complex for Vistakon, in addition to the recently completed U.S. Human Health Headquarters for Merck & Co.

Jonathan completed a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University in 1982, where he also obtained his undergraduate degree. He is an active member of ASHRAE, ISPE and the American Society for Hospital Engineering.

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