Research on Display: Leveraging Collaboration and Wellness to Drive Facility Design

Greg Hadsell, HDR
Michael Bardin, HDR

The Photon Science Laboratory at the Arrillaga Science Center (ASC) is a new center for research and collaboration on the SLAC campus. The LEED Platinum building will enable a range of synthesis and characterization capabilities, simulation, theory, and modeling in support of the study of ultrafast physical, chemical, and biological processes and materials synthesis. The program includes various classes of cleanrooms, biological labs, controlled environment labs, laser labs, and chemistry labs. The initial build-out of the facility will be utilized by SLAC, with future expansion to support Stanford University. Three of the primary project goals were to encourage and promote collaboration among all SLAC researchers to cross perceived program and discipline boundaries, to provide maximum flexibility to support changes in science, and to provide a comfortable, supportive, high-performance and attractive building. This posed the problem how do you create an extremely flexible laboratory environment, one that wholly supports complex research across multiple laboratory types, but also one that enhances occupant well-being and creates opportunities for seamless, informal collaboration? To add further complications, how do you achieve this goal when the project includes multiple stakeholders, both public and private, with separate core/shell and interior fit-out delivery teams? The session will outline the project team's approach to meeting these goals. It will detail the programming and planning process, with focused user group meetings and research forecasting to define building needs. It will address the approach to workplace strategy and the assessment for potential intersections between research tasks and focused desk work. It will also demonstrate how the approach to occupant wellness, including daylighting, views, materiality, color, comfort, and social connectedness can become the cohesive element that brings all of the building parts together. Lastly, as a recently opened facility, the team will provide lessons learned, based on post occupancy surveys and empirical assessments, to understand how the building is performing, whether it is meeting its intended goals, and whether the efforts to support well-being and collaboration were successful.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify planning and programming opportunities to foster collaboration among different user groups;
  • Understand how facility design can promote future flexibility and accommodate the changing needs of research;
  • Describe methods to support occupant well-being and drive sustainable performance in research facility design; and
  • Define methodologies to inform future facility design and determine whether a building is functioning as originally intended.


Greg is an Architect, Project Manager and Principal with HDR's Education, Science and Technology practice, focusing on DOE facilities. He has delivered projects with several DOE campuses around the country and holds experience in the design of advanced technology, industrial, and commercial projects. These projects range from the renovation and expansion of existing facilities to the design of new buildings and the development of campus master plans, both domestic and abroad.

Michael is an architect and Design Principal in HDR's San Francisco office, who has dedicated his career to delivering humanistic and sustainable design for projects of numerous types and scales. His approach solves for complex challenges with thoughtful, innovative, and efficient solutions that promote individual, community, and environmental health and wellness. In addition to facility design, he has authored community-responsive solutions to the challenges associated with designing for resiliency. A recipient of AIA, SARA and other awards, his work has been published in several magazines and books.


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