AM Technical Solutions (AM) is committed to lending our expertise in cleanroom construction to support the betterment of the industry. A great example is Abbie Gregg’s participation in the SEFA 2021 Lab of the Year Award judging.
Abbie, our Chief Technology Officer, is an industry expert and cleanroom consultant with more than 35 years of experience in architecture and engineering design leadership. She has led three award-winning R&D Lab of the Year projects, and she has led many teams performing process engineering and operations improvements, as well as the design and engineering of cleanrooms, advanced laboratories, and manufacturing facilities.
Abbie’s position as a cleanroom expert naturally led to her being selected to join other industry leaders in the SEFA Lab of the Year judging.
How the 2021 SEFA Lab of the Year Award Was Determined
On September 13th, Abbie Gregg joined a panel of eight judges that included architects, engineers, constructors, and users in the evaluation of elite lab projects. The mix of talent from around the world with different viewpoints led to healthy discussions and debates about the merits of the 11 domestic and international projects that were submitted for the award.
Several smaller but very creative projects were included in the evaluation. These projects featured adaptive reuse, creative renovations on limited budgets in tight spaces, and inspiring face-to-face connections between science and the public, patients, and student populations through the use of unique architecture and unexpected views into labs.
Eventually, the team narrowed down the field to three leading projects that were recognized by SEFA. The projects were rated based on these factors:
- Overall Impression
- Great Architecture Design
- Innovative Lab Design
- Sustainability and Human Health
- Human Experience
- Supporting the Science
- Celebrates Science
- Supports Collaboration
- Addresses Site/Campus
- Distinguishing Lab Features
- Compelling Design Story
- “Wild Card”
In the end, the selected project was the massive Harvard University Science and Engineering Complex located in Allston, Massachusetts. Harvard created its own neighborhood that will be an anchor facility for The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is a new and growing engineering school within Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This facility includes robust, open, and flexible labs with energy-efficient elements including a unique building skin and many green roofs/terraces.
Two other projects received special recognition awards.
– One of the projects is the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, is supporting an architecturally unique and impressive gateway to the campus in Eugene.
– The other recognized project was the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Biomanufacturing Center, which is located close to the hospital campus in dense West Hollywood, California. This space-efficient Pluripotent Stem Cell therapy lab and biomanufacturing suite (77% net lab area) is located in the famous Pacific Design Center Furniture Market, where the Center’s entry looks like the other showrooms. Additionally, the MEP systems are carefully camouflaged among the colorful facades and roof parapets for a beautiful design.
“My personal favorite was the Chen Neuroscience Research Building at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena,” says Abbie Gregg. “I loved the bright white curvy indoor gathering zone contrasted with the rustic but industrial rectangular exterior of the building. The bright and well-organized technical spaces finally and properly gathered neuroscience experts, their research, and support equipment from places all across campus, with room for growth.
“I also loved the fact that as part of the design process, neuroscience researchers worked with the design team to educate designers, in scientific terms, how humans would think and feel in various spaces and surrounded by certain materials. Optimizing how people think and feel in workspaces has always been my personal passion in developing the labs and cleanrooms that I have had the privilege to design.”
– For more information on the projects that were submitted for the 2021 SEFA Lab of the Year Award, visit SEFALabs.com. Also, learn more about how SEFA is advancing laboratory environments through the development of recommended practices and industry guidelines.
– Find out more about our company’s capabilities in cleanroom laboratory design.
– View our portfolio of award-winning cleanroom design projects.
– Need a solution for your next cleanroom design project? Contact us today to discuss your project requirements.