UMass Amherst
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Facilities Planning

Building a Better UMass Amherst

Artist's rendering of the ISB interior.

Life Science Laboratories

Project Description

The Life Science Laboratories (LSL) was developed to provide state-of-the-art research laboratory space for interdisciplinary research clusters engaged in cutting edge research.  Existing science space is currently comprised of 2.8 million gross square feet of space in 54 buildings of varying condition and configuration.  Today's scientific research requires modern facilities with properly sized floor plates, adequate floor-to-floor heights, and energy-efficient building systems and building envelopes. Since the future course of scientific research cannot be predicted with exact certainty, it is critical that new facilities create large, flexible and adaptable systems that can easily accommodate growth and changing paradigms.

Significant new discoveries have come from work at the edges of the traditional fields of chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering.  Entirely new fields such as biomedical engineering have arisen from collaborations between disciplines that once felt little or no reason for dialogue.  This new intellectual environment creates the need for new science facilities that are large, flexible buildings that accommodate both social and intellectual interaction.

The LSL is designed to enable these concepts.  The site planning capitalizes upon and seeks to engage the beautiful natural setting at the western edge of Orchard Hill while celebrating the work within.  The building is designed to link with adjacent buildings and to the pedestrian and infrastructure network in a way that creates both civic space and enhances accessibility.

The building will contain flexible open research labs with equipment alcoves, enclosed support labs, shared platform labs and faculty offices, conference rooms, colloquia, and food serving areas.  Accommodation is made in the plan for a future rooftop greenhouse.

Phased Construction

LSL I will be completely fit out and occupied while LSL II will be constructed as shell and core space.  This shell space will be fit out in the future to accommodate changing research programs.  A future building is planned as an extension to the south.

The LSL will tie into the Integrated Sciences Building at the ground floor level and will share the ISB loading dock and cooling equipment.

Sustainable Design

The building will meet LEED Silver standards and include the following:
•    Heat recovery chiller plant
•    Ventilation energy recovery
•    Low flow fume hoods
•    Air quality monitoring system
•    Radiant floor heating
•    Water reclamation system
•    Low flow plumbing fixtures
•    Day lighting controls
•    Energy metering systems

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