The Renovation of MIT Dreyfus Laboratories: Designing
Rosemary Siciliano and Roger Goldstein,
FAIA, Goody Clancy
Goody Clancy led a highly integrated, holistic design process to
renovate MIT's existing Dreyfus Laboratories, an historically significant
modern I.M. Pei-designed structure, to a significant level of sustainability.
The decision to renovate rather than replace the existing building
embodies the most basic principle of sustainable design.
Sustainable design strategies for this 130,000 square foot research
chemistry lab include improved energy efficiency, lighting design
and technology strategies and daylighting, replacement of single
pane glass windows with low-E coated glass, reduction of resource
use, recycling of materials, and reduction of risk to the environment
through chemical handling strategies. The new labs have been revived
and redefined as safe, flexible, energy-efficient and state of the
This extraordinarily challenging renovation while the building
was occupied provided the design team, the owner and the contractor
with a number of powerful lessons, including:
- It really is possible to take an outdated lab building and bring
it up to 21st century research standards.
- Make sure that the costs and impacts of temporary work are adequately
anticipated when pre-planning to prepare for phased renovation
and ongoing occupancy.
- Make sure the building occupants "sign off" on both
final plan configurations and any interim, short-term plans.
- Planned utility shutdowns should always be accompanied by contingency
- State-of-the-art lab services that push the boundaries of standard
practice (e.g. advanced vacuum or inert gas systems) require more
research, mockups, and testing than usual.
- Physical lab mockups are well worth the effort and cost, and
should be done as early as reasonable in order to yield the most
- Complex renovations in tight quarters demand a higher-than-normal
effort from the design and construction team, particularly in
preplanning the distribution and layering of lab services.
Working with existing intake air quantities (defined by the existing
building geometry), we increased the amount of fumehood space by
40 percent, but used less air than before, ultimately using less
energy and duct space.
- Replaced existing single-pane glass windows with insulated low-E
- Dramatically increased daylight penetration to the dark, uninviting
interior lab zones that previously received little natural light,
by placing interior windows onto the perimeter corridor walls
and reorganizing the interior labs to create a wide open, light-filled
- Installed state-of-the-art T5 HO light fixtures in the labs
with occupancy sensors.
- Installed two different color temperature lamps to delineate
"work" from "living and collaborating" zones.
- Introduced basement public space lighting that tracks what is
going on outside; dimming when the sun goes down.
- Made extensive use of new generation, low-cost fluorescent dimmers
in office areas to both reduce energy consumption and improve
worker satisfaction by giving them greater control of their environment.
Our poster will reflect the principles of the Labs21 approach to
lab design in that the entire design approach was driven by issues
that required us to design in sustainability from a whole-building
- For example, the goal of bringing daylight into the interior
labs and maximizing the benefits of daylight, such as improving
indoor quality of life and increasing productivity, fundamentally
influenced the entire reorganization of space.
- Increasing fume hood allocation and achieving greater safety
also required thought about the building as a whole in order to
achieve goals, leading to the creation of perimeter desk areas
separated by glass from labs.
- The replacement of individual service units with centralized
systems for vacuum, delivery of gases and chilled water resulted
in greater efficiency for the building overall, increased researchers'
productivity, more efficient trapping of vapors to reduce emissions
to the atmosphere, substantially reduced use of city water and
sewage systems, and decreased frequency of gas cylinder delivery,
thereby reducing transportation environmental impacts.
Not available at this time.
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