New Construction Bronze: Bioengineering for the future

12/01/2008


View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition.

It's no easy task to plan a medical research campus that responds to today's needs while preparing for the unforeseen tasks of the future. That's exactly what University of Colorado Denver wanted for its Anschutz Medical Campus Research 2 building.

Located in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo., the campus was part of a $3 billion master plan that would create a series of research, clinical, educational, and hospital centers on the decommissioned Fitzsimons Army Post (the same place where President Eisenhower spent seven weeks in the hospital recovering from a heart attack in 1955).

The action plan

Raleigh, N.C.-based KlingStubbins was brought into the project, along with Fentress Architects, ME Engineers, and a series of additional consultants for the first two research laboratory buildings. With the first Research Building (RC-1) completed in June 2004, the team was “re-selected” to provide design on the $206 million, 11-story, 506,000-sq-ft second Research Building (RC-2). The building is home to School of Medicine research sciences including: cardiology, toxicology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, neurology, pediatrics, and infectious diseases.

Inside is a 46,000-sq-ft vivarium space for research lab animals and a biosafety level three environment. (Think potentially lethal diseases like anthrax, West Nile virus, and SARS.) Due to the sensitive nature of the research, the system designs focused on reliable, redundant systems and sources that serve to protect the research, the research animals, the researchers, and the external environment.

“Biomedical research isn't often done at such capacity,” said KlingStubbins engineering design principal Jeff Heiken. “Usually it is 40,000 sq ft dedicated to a specific science in a single building, not a high-rise of this size.”

Power for the entire campus operates on a 15 kV redundant loop, with RC-2 electrical service switch gears on two medium-voltage 15 kV circuit breakers that automatically switch over to emergency generators if necessary while UPS systems cover the emergency lighting needs throughout the lab.

“That way, if a researcher is in the middle of something and all the power goes out, they don't get stuck in the dark until the generator kicks in,” Heiken said.

The school wanted architectural flexibility, so a room could be customized according to a researcher's needs. The designs incorporated modular, flexible, and redundant lab designs with varying options for procedural spaces.

With this in mind, the design plan focused on a set density of chemical fume hoods that could easily expand or contract without significant infrastructural alterations as research needs or techniques evolve. High density of data and power access was added throughout all research areas, with more than 10,000 power receptacles throughout the building.

“With these designs, if a new researcher joins the university and wants to do something different, you don't have to rip out the system and go through various ductwork changes to reconfigure the room,” Heiken said. “It's already built into the system.”

High-tech ventilation

Eight custom variable volume air handlers at 80,000 cfm provide conditioning and ventilation for the laboratory, support, and office spaces. Because of Denver's arid climate, all air handlers were fitted with evaporative cooling sections, which function to reduce the overall mechanical refrigeration needs. The primary cooling for the building is a centralized campus loop, which features high-efficiency chiller units capable of diversifying the loading profiles on a campus-wide level. A glycol pump-around heat recovery system has coils in the main exhaust air stream on the roof, which captures thermal energy for preheating or precooling at associated coils in the main air handlers to reduce primary cooling and heating peak loads.

Within the building, three very large vertical shafts are sized for air distribution. The exhaust is routed to the seven roof-mounted utility set fans that are connected to a series of high-velocity, high-dispersion stacks. The conditioned supply air from the second level has louvered intakes strategically positioned to prevent re-entrainment of exhausted contaminants. The supply ducting connects horizontally on the mechanical room level prior to rising vertically to the research levels with more than 1,500 laboratory supply and exhaust air control devices.

Lighting control elements were added with energy-saving occupancy sensors, and photocell-controlled exterior security and safety lighting. Preset dimming stations in the lecture theater and gathering spaces, and perimeter offices equipped with automatic dual level switching with dual ballasts controlled via photosensors also conserve energy.

“It's a state-of-the-art building that can adapt to just about anything researchers might need in the future,” said Heiken.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me