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Lean, Green Research Machine: Implemental Strategies for Sustainable Laboratory Facilities

Jeff Salocks and Chris Leary, The Stubbins Associates


To present a menu of sustainable material selections and system designs appropriate for laboratory architecture and interior finishes. We have investigated products and systems which demonstrate efficient use of natural resources,; utilize recycled and/or renewable material; and which promote reduced energy or resource use by the building users. These are alternatives to historically predicated materials typically used in research facilities. This presentation will provide comparative data (cost, availability/lead time, applicability, etc.) on such products and systems as rubber flooring, recycled content casework and ceilings, energy conserving scientific equipment and closed loop water systems. With project implementation for many of these we will also be able to share detailing and constructability issues in situ images and user observed performance criteria.


We hope to demonstrate that with the range of potential sustainable products, which is greater than ever before that it should be the rule and not the exception for design of new laboratory facilities. Cost data will reveal that these materials and systems are cost effective, cost competitive and some instances provide a "payback" savings. We further hope to share our insight into the beneficial use of some of these products. By building on the work of proactive "green" organizations such as the Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), Center for Resourceful Building Technology (CRBT), National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Green Building Council (GBC), and by the use comparative criteria we hope to establish a guide of construction materials to specifically address the laboratory building/environment.

Labs21 Connection:

Minimization of short and long term impacts to the environment by promoting the incorporation of construction materials and applied finishes of reduced "embedded" energy, non-toxicity & that can be recycled for reuse upon reaching their life expectancy. Also, to encourage reduced resource usage by promoting the installation & use of water / energy conserving systems and equipment (energy and water efficiency strategies). Compel manufacturers to develop "green" products for mass-market distribution.


Jeff Salocks, AIA, has over 20 years of experience as an architect and designer specializing in the programming, planning and design of laboratory and research facilities for universities, institutional, healthcare and corporate clients. At present he is the Director of Laboratory and Research Facilities at The Stubbins Associates in Cambridge Massachusetts and has recently designed new research facilities for the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research and Elixir Pharmaceuticals. He has also programmed and/or designed new laboratory facilities for academic institutions such as Brown University and Dartmouth College. Mr. Salocks holds a BArch degree from Pratt Institute and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He speaks frequently on the subject of laboratory design for such national organizations as SCUP, Project Kaleidoscope, National Council of Research Administrators and Society of Research Administrators.

Chris Leary, AIA, has led design teams for many of the firm's large-scale projects since joining The Stubbins Associates in 1992, including laboratory and research facilities for the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Boston University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His particular interest is in the area of Building Performance and Sustainable Design. He is an experienced speaker on the subject, and has participated in several conferences. In addition, he leads TSA's Sustainable Design Group.

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