Articles Tagged with: Research
Philadelphia-Based Researchers Work Towards COVID-19 Vaccine in Ballinger-Designed Labs

Research scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wistar Institute are responding to the coronavirus global outbreak by investigating the development of new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent infections. Researchers are conducting experiments in labs designed by the architects and engineers of Ballinger — The Robert and Penny Fox Tower, a seven-story, 100,000 SF addition to The Wistar Institute and Stemmler Hall, a 230,000 SF lab building at the University of Pennsylvania that recently underwent a transformative renovation.

Photo courtesy of Norbert Pardi

Photo courtesy of Norbert Pardi

Read more about how these institutions are working to speed the development and testing of a COVID-19 vaccine

Ballinger Project ILSB Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

Recent Ballinger project, the new Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), will host a Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting this Saturday, October 12, 11:00 am – 3:00pm. The program will feature remarks from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Miller Jr., and UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski. The celebration will include building tours, hands-on life science activities, active learning demonstrations, and GRIT-X: a series of short talks presented by UMBC staff highlighting the importance of diversity in research. Additionally, Volkan Alkanoglu, the artist who created the building’s striking art installation “INFLIGHT,” will be present for questions.

The new 131,000 SF ILSB includes wet bench life science research space, shared scientific research core spaces, new multidisciplinary science teaching labs and active learning classrooms. Office spaces for faculty and research assistants are also included to support the research mission of the building. UMBC is a pioneer in teaching non-major foundation labs in an active learning classroom setting and report improved student outcomes due to team learning requirements that increase attendance and promote peer to peer learning. The four 90-person classrooms included in ILSB expand this teaching style on campus and help promote its success.

“UMBC requested a transparent building that put science on display. The interesting challenge was to create a place that would foster strong sense of community for the researchers, while opening the building to the broader campus community that use the classrooms, teaching labs and shared study spaces. The Commons unify these two user groups into one flowing connected space while maintaining layers of security and privacy.” – Steve Bartlett, Lead Designer

Link to event details

Ribbon Cutting to Mark Opening of New URI Engineering Center

The new Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering at the University of Rhode Island (URI), designed and engineered by Ballinger, officially opens on Monday, October 7. The opening event will kick off with a speaking program at 11am, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and building tours.

The new five-story engineering teaching and research building, the largest construction project in URI’s history, was designed as a new interdisciplinary hub to attract faculty, students and industry partners. A key design feature of the building is a truss support system, which eliminates the need for interior support columns and allows for uninterrupted floor plates. Visible from the exterior, the innovative structural solution evokes the discipline of engineering and engages the campus.

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.

Post-Occupancy Evaluation Published for Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital’s Lasko Tower

As part of Ballinger’s commitment to designing facilities that optimize the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff, our teams conduct post-occupancy evaluations (POE) on completed projects to assess and monitor how the buildings are being used. Ballinger recently published a POE on their design for the Lasko Tower at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, completed in 2015. The research team, led by Ballinger Principal Louis A. Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA, ACHE and healthcare planners Christina Grimes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC and Debbie Phillips, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, assessed which planning and design interventions were most successful and what effect the unit design had on staff and patients.

Although the primary goal was to gather insights for an additional bed tower (currently under construction), it also offered an opportunity to compare patient satisfaction and operational performance against an existing 20-bed unit, the West Building (built in 1962 and renovated in 1998). Significant differences between the West unit and the Lasko Tower unit include a larger floor area with a racetrack organization of patient beds rather than a single-corridor layout, the inclusion of decentralized care stations between every two patient rooms, and more locations for staff charting.

The analysis assessed patient satisfaction with rooms and amenities, staff operations relative to charting and patient care, and housekeeping operations relative to material selection and ongoing maintenance. Because both of the units studied have private patient rooms, the evaluation enabled direct comparison between fall rates, HCAHPS scores (noise and cleanliness), and rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI). The study included a proximity index charting the travel distances between staff care stations, patient rooms and supplies, and assigned a cost/benefit metric to key design considerations.

The POE results suggest Lasko Tower is an improved patient care environment, and since moving in, the hospital has noted significant improvements in all categories. The insights gained through this study directly informed planning of the 96-room patient bed tower currently under construction.

View the post-occupancy evaluation

The Wistar Institute Featured in Modern Steel Construction

Modern Steel Construction, published by the American Institute of Steel Construction, features the Wistar Institute’s Robert and Penny Fox Tower on its cover. Associate Principal Edward J. Zinski wrote an article for the December issue describing Ballinger’s unique solutions for this complex urban project.

The Robert and Penny Fox Tower satisfies the Institute’s need for state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research space and a stronger, more unified visual identity.

The project comprises a seven-story research tower, a new entrance leading to a public Forum, and a central utility plant. In addition to the design and engineering of the research building, Ballinger provided existing facility assessment, master planning, and programming to determine the best solution for Wistar.

Link to Article

Ballinger and GW Lead Tradeline Session on Effective Interdisciplinary Facilities

Ballinger Principal Craig S. Spangler, AIA and Associate Principal Rob W. Voss, AIA, LEED BD+C joined George Washington University’s Dr. Can Korman on stage at Tradeline’s 27th annual College and University Science Facilities Conference. Their talk, titled “Mixing Bowls for Science and Engineering: Recipes and Ingredients For Inspiring Interdisciplinary Learning and Discovery Environments,” compared four academic building designs.

By exploring how openness and transparency relate to cost, code, culture and program, Ballinger provided attendees with tools and metrics for planning future interdisciplinary learning environments.

Tradeline is an industry resource that presents high level conferences focused on the latest planning, design, operations and financial thinking for the built environment. This year’s College and University Science Facilities conference was held in Boston, MA.

Link to Presentation

Ballinger wins the 2015 IIDA “Best of Year” Award

From a pool of 38 projects submitted by 18 firms, Ballinger won the 2015 IIDA “Best of Year” Award for its interior design work on the George Washington University Science & Engineering Hall.  The award recognizes outstanding built work designed by IIDA members in PA, NJ and DE.

The new 500,000 sf, eight-story Science & Engineering Hall (SEH) is the focal point of George Washington University’s expanding research emphasis, and transforms the institution’s capabilities in the sciences.

The IIDA award judges highlighted the dynamic, integrated experiences of SEH’s architecture and interiors topped off by great accents of color and moments of surprise.

Transparency is a pervasive theme – a glass façade on the building exterior, glass fronts on all labs and offices, a double-height atrium space to open vertical sightlines, and a floating tower of teaching spaces that extends six floors up.  The abundance of glass allows natural light to penetrate the large floorplate while putting science on display both internally and externally.

To encourage interdisciplinary partnerships, departments are arranged in “research neighborhoods” that place lab and office space for different disciplines next to each other around a collaboration space, pantry, and spiral stair.  Gathering spaces can be found throughout the building: internal garden spaces highlighted by green walls, informal group spaces, a large commons area, meeting and study rooms.

The building’s neutral palette is accented with pops of color to energize the space and assist in wayfinding.  The maple underside of the teaching tower brings warmth to the scale of the atrium.  The continuous flow of materials – terrazzo, granite, concrete and maple – from the common spaces into the teaching and research spaces provides a gradual transition and allows the science happening in the building to play the central role.

A World of Research Under One Roof

The opening of the new Science and Engineering Hall is the cover story of the Winter 2015 edition of GW Magazine. “It’s an impressive building in an impressive location,” says Dr. Can Korman, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Professor at GW’s School for Engineering and Applied Science.

Chemistry professor Susan Gillmor described the experience of students working in the new building, “Instead of this being a drag that you have to go to lab for four hours, you are going into a lab that inspires you, a lab where you want to learn.”

Completed in 2014, Science and Engineering Hall is the largest academic building of its kind in Washington, DC and the first new major laboratory building on the campus in over 50 years.

Link to Magazine

Ballinger at the Wistar Institute’s Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and Gala

In September 2014, the Wistar Institute’s new, seven-story research building at 3601 Spruce Street in Philadelphia, PA opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gala.

In addition to the design of this start-of-the-art research building, Ballinger provided existing facility assessment, master planning and programming to determine the best solution for Wistar to expand its research operations, recruit new faculty, and pursue a collaborative workplace model to support emerging areas of science.

In the above photo are representatives of the Ballinger team with the Wistar Institute gala’s master of ceremonies — former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil (from left to right:  Jeff French, Ed Zinski, Brendan Vaughan, Dick Vermeil, Eva Lew, Trish Cosgrove, Steve Bartlett, Todd Drake)

Ballinger Healthcare Experts examine Evidence-Based Design in Pediatrics

Ballinger Principal Louis Meilink, Jr., AIA, ACHA and Director of Healthcare Planning Dwight Smith, AIA, EDAC discussed evidence-based design (EBD) at this year’s Healthcare Design Expo and Conference, sponsored by the Center for Health Design.

EBD research to date has predominantly focused on the adult environment, with few examples of its impact on pediatrics. Throughout the design of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Ballinger tested and tracked the application of EBD principles and best practice theories as they apply to pediatric spaces.

Lou Meilink and Dwight Smith, along with Golisano Children’s Hospital Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Lattimore, presented the outcome of their design process, highlighting strategies that are translatable between adult and pediatric populations.

The New Research Facility Value Metrics: Interaction, Sustainability, Project Quality

At the 2013 Tradeline International Conference on Research Facilities, Principals Bill Gustafson, FAIA, Jonathan, PE, LEED AP, and Associate Principal Steve Bartlett, AIA, presented on emerging performance metrics for science and engineering research. An overview of the presentation is as follows:

Building performance measures have been slowly evolving. Efforts to modify these metrics have largely been hidden from view. This talk seeks to fill this intellectual void by exploring three different aspects of building performance:

  • How far can the traditional metrics take us?
  • What should a human factor model of performance be?
  • What are the potentials to go beyond LEED in terms of technology performance.

The premise of this talk is a building performance dashboard that combines these three elements to create a more balanced view of a building. Underlying this model must be post occupancy evaluations that go back to validate the original premises. The 2012 lab of the Year will provide just such a test case.

Link to Presentation

Repurposing Existing Facilities for Modern Science

How can an institution determine whether it makes sense to rejuvenate existing building stock rather than throw it away? Key factors to consider when deciding to renovate, build new, or carry out a hybrid renovation/addition include: building dimensions, systems obsolescence, location on campus, and program fit. In this presentation at the Tradeline College and University Science Facilities conference, Ballinger Principals Jeff French, Jonathan Friedan and Craig Spangler examine new technologies and approaches that are making renovation of academic science facilities a more financially attractive option for institutions facing limited budgets, constrained real estate, and aging buildings with prominent historic legacies.

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