The design of research laboratory environments places a premium on technical organization and safety. It requires an understanding of the work flow in order to provide solutions that offer efficiencies and an awareness of the potential hazards associated with the research activities.

The design for the laboratories, offices and lobby addition for NASA’s Building 49 at its 350-acre Glenn Research Center campus in Cleveland served to modernize and consolidate the polymer and materials research facilities. Read More

The 98,000 sq. ft. building contains departmental offices, more than 25 chemistry and testing labs, spaces for three NMR testing instruments, multiple electron microscopes, and a ballistics / impact testing room. One of the primary issues related to the design was providing a comfortable and logical organization of the labs and support spaces. VEBH worked closely with NASA personnel to understand and appreciate the technical and spatial requirements for the research and testing equipment, as well as the key relationships and workflow patterns in the labs and office spaces. The design provided an efficient and logical organization of the labs and supports spaces.

Chemistry labs were designed with necessary safety features including gas monitoring and alert systems, eyewash stations, emergency showers.

The ground floor contains two of the facility’s three NMR instruments. It also included a suite for Tunneling electron microscopes that required the design team to address critical design and structural issues to abate noise and vibration created at the adjacent Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The majority of the office spaces have been located closest to the main building entrance, in the main corridor connecting the two building wings. Extensive data cabling interconnects these spaces and the laboratories.