Laser Labs: Meeting Operational Requirements With a Sustainable Focus.

Justin Merriman, Applied Engineering Services

Applied Engineering Services has recently designed the MEP systems and overseen the installation of three laser labs throughout the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. This presentation goes through the process of space planning and MEP systems for laser lab design. Topics include: layout and occupant safety; how to meet tight stability requirements of temperature (~ 0.1 F) and humidity (~ 5%); how to meet requirements of high-efficiency particle filtration (99.97%); determining when redundant systems are required to sustain research; and how to mitigate vibration and provide noise isolation.

Each researcher had unique laboratory requirements, as well as physical building capabilities. Equipment and system selection was informed by these parameters to meet the varied physical and environmental needs of each laboratory.

During design, the team engaged researchers through different modes to understand critical project controls. The specific requirements of their environments necessitated more intensive dialogue around tolerances and controls. Balancing client expectations with existing site constraints provided lessons in broad team engagement and clear communication of the design. Energy recovery and equipment efficiencies will be discussed, as well as lessons learned during the construction and operation of the completed laser labs.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand space requirements and occupant safety considerations;
  • Understand the site-specific physical capabilities of the lab location;
  • Understand the various equipment needed to support and maintain lab requirements and operation; and
  • Explain lessons learned during construction and lab operation .


Justin Merriman is a Mechanical Project Engineer with Applied Engineering Services. He enjoys providing specialized designs for laboratories and healthcare. He works to find the best approaches to LEED, energy efficiency, and sustainability. He excels in HVAC design, computational fluid dynamics, and energy analysis to inform owner decisions.


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