Articles Tagged with: Alexa Hansford

Occupancy models for dynamic discovery

Ballinger senior principal Jonathan Friedan, PE, LEEAP and studio leader Alexa Hansford, AIA, alongside University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UBMC) Dennis Cuddy, presented at Tradeline’s University Facilities for the Sciences and Advanced Technologies 2021 Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their talk, “Institute and entrepreneurial space occupancy models for dynamic research and technology programs,” examined four common facility models — departmental, multi-departmental, institutes, and innovation — and described how features from each were applied to UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB).

A center for research, active learning, innovation, and inspiration, the 131,000 SF ILSB supports UMBC’s mission of student success and research discoveries. The ILSB was an investment in consolidated research infrastructure, an alternative to building department-specific projects throughout the campus. A competitive application process attracts cohorts from multiple specialties to come together for research under one roof. The building is designed to reinforce a collaborative, convergent environment that welcomes students and faculty, regardless of their study focus, to spark new approaches to discovery.

The ILSB features teaching, research, and collaborative spaces, all for collective use by building occupants. The building organization balances the safety and security priorities of research environments with the desire for teaching spaces that are vibrant, accessible, and transparent. Research and teaching are connected by a double-height central commons enlivened by artwork.

The engineering systems within the building apply best practices from buildings with diverse occupancy models. Energy efficient features include chilled beams and an innovative “air share” system. These strategies reduced energy use by 44% compared to similar buildings.

The building opened in 2019 and brought to life UMBC’s vision of “a community of scholars.” The collaborative research currently underway includes topics such as age-related disease and disparities, and 3D printing of integrated human tissue models.

Interior view of lab

Learn more about occupancy models through these examples: 

Departmental: a building dedicated to a single specialty. University of Wisconsin’s Chemistry Instructional Building was designed to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for foundational STEM courses, address the university’s desire to upgrade the existing infrastructure of their chemistry complex, and enable excellence in the field. The building is highly specialized and cannot be translated to suit the needs of another department.

Multi-Departmental: a building that balances the needs of multiple specialties within a single space. The design of George Washington University’s Science and Engineering Hall arranges laboratories and teaching spaces for different departments into “research neighborhoods” to encourage interdisciplinary partnerships. Leveraging the similarities between specialties and the building’s collaboration space allows students and faculty to collaborate in new ways and break down departmental silos.

Institutes: a highly specialized building designed to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and engage the public. The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery was one of the most unique interdisciplinary research institutes of its time. The building accommodates a public institute, federally-funded team-based research, and on the private side, industry partnerships, commercialization and outreach to the community.

Innovation: a building that prioritizes start-up and entrepreneurial culture. Pennovation Center is a groundbreaking incubator space developed by the University of Pennsylvania that offers highly-flexible and accessible leased spaces to accommodate a variety of research. The co-location of multiple incubators leverages shared business resources.

Ballinger at AIA Philadelphia’s Forum on Architecture + Design

Ballinger is proud to be participating in this year’s Forum on Architecture + Design, AIA Philadelphia’s regional education conference. The event will be held October 2-4 at Philadelphia’s Convene at 30 South 17th Street, and will include keynote and break-out sessions as well as networking opportunities. Ballinger creators will present at three sessions, covering diverse topics spanning modern approaches to sustainability, the evolution of science building design, and the “secret” to winning national AIA awards.

Ballinger Senior Project Architect David Hincher, AIA, LEED BD+C, along with peers, will present “The AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit: Closing the Information Gap” on Thursday, October 3. The panel will discuss the Toolkit, a new design tool created to help make all types of projects more sustainable. The goal of the Committee on the Environment (COTE) Toolkit is to demonstrate how sustainability is a practice that can and should be enacted in all kinds of projects, regardless of scale or intensity.

“Secrets of Success: Stories of our recent AIA National Award Winners” will be presented by Ballinger Senior Principal Eric Swanson, AIA and retired architect Christopher Gray, along with colleagues from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and ISA on Friday, October 4. Moderated by Maureen A. Ward, AIA, Senior Director of Facilities Planning at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, the discussion will analyze recent successful award submissions and outline the “secrets of their success.”

“20 Years of Design Evolution: Exceptional science teaching and research buildings on college campuses and in dense urban areas from 1999 to 2019” will be presented by Ballinger Principal Rob Voss, AIA, LEED AP, Architect Alexa Hansford, RA, and Ajay Prasad, PE of Jensen Hughes on Friday, October 4. The presentation will include an analysis of science building designs, codes, and trends that lead to successful discovery and learning.