The new Life Science Laboratories (LSL) Building at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst was developed to provide state-of-the-art research laboratory space including a vivarium, imaging and computation facilities, and laboratories for interdisciplinary research teams. This complex, integrated life science research building involved very complicated building mechanical systems to support the needs of varied laboratories. NV5 (legacy companies) supported this project under two scopes — engineering and commissioning.
NV5’s engineering scope on the two-phased project included a comprehensive science facilities plan/certifiable study, and design for the new building. A major factor of the project involved incorporating innovative and energy efficient design strategies within the laboratory environment. A key feature of the LSL design was the interstitial space above each of the research lab floors. These MEP utility spaces were designed to permit ease of access to utilities, controls, and valves without having to enter and disrupt the labs where critical research is conducted. The interstitial utility space also allows for routine servicing and reconfiguration of the services and utilities as research demands change over time.
NV5 also provided independent engineering review and commissioning services through the building’s three construction phases. Phase one allowed for immediate occupancy, phase two was built as flexible shell space, and phase three accommodated 32 faculty members and their research groups in the building. Services provided included life cycle cost analysis, development of integrated testing procedures, specification writing, construction inspection, and O&M training.