MDI Biological Laboratory is one of just a handful of U.S. laboratories focused using marine research to advance human health. The goal for its new facility was to create a cost-effective, energy-efficient space customized to the lab’s unique research processes. In addition to facilitating staff collaboration and productivity, the spaces are designed to maximize the accuracy and longevity of MDI Biolab’s array of specialized research equipment such as aquatic systems, DNA sequencers, bioanalysers, centrifuges, microscopes, and spectrophotometers.
Blending gracefully into its rustic, waterfront surroundings, the structure includes wet laboratories, a research training laboratory, imaging center, and a library/conference area. Phase one of the project, the 16,500 SF LEED Gold Martha and Wister Morris Center for Environmental Health Sciences and the John W. and Jean C. Boylan Center for Cellular and Molecular Physiology was built with minimal site disturbance and boasts exceptional efficiency, using occupancy sensors, “right sized” HVAC equipment, and mechanical system integration.
The centers provide laboratory and office space for six research groups studying regeneration, healing, and aging, along with library, a 1,200 square foot research training laboratory, wet labs, and an imaging center. The project earned LEED Gold certification through a long list of decisions that reduced its environmental impact. They included using lumber that was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; using many of the trees harvested during site clearance in the construction of the building; choosing soy-based foam insulation and steel with a high content of recycled material. Conservation technologies add up to energy consumption that is approximately 42% less than a typical lab, and 95% of the construction debris from this project was recycled or diverted from landfills.
A 11,000 SF addition to that facility, the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine was completed in 2012. It was designed and built to replace the existing Marshall building located adjacent to the Morris building. The new facility is interconnected to Morris and shares many of the services and support spaces. The upper level of the Davis Center consists of additional research spaces and the lower level serves as a wet lab and animal holding facility. The Davis building is pending LEED certification.
Project Budget and Schedule Management was provided for each phase of this project, and was maintained through an integrated approach. This included the design firm, WBRC A/E, and construction manager, Nickerson and O’Day, working closely with MDI Biolab’s team to provide and maintain: 1) program integrity, 2) cost control, 3) schedule control, and 4) constructability throughout the entire project. This was accomplished with regular design meetings during the design and construction phases, with all parties contributing in the process, along with formal submissions provided at the various key submissions for CM pricing for confirmation of project scope and schedule. As a result, the project finished a month early and under budget.