Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 08:59:56 -0400 (EDT)

Author: John Mocko

Subject: Re: science bldg designs


My department just occupied a new physics building a little less than two
years ago and we've just about finished going through the "growing pains"
of a new facility. We have a terrific building here and I would suggest
your consultant check it out. It was designed by Cannon Architects and
built by Beers Construction. The size of the facilty is 260,000 sq ft and
is divided into three floors. The ground floor is all research modules,
the first floor contains all classrooms and teaching functions including
grad student offices and the top floor contains all faculty offices and
conference rooms. This design significantly reduces large flows of general
traffic through the research areas and the office space. The building cost
was around $34 million.

A few things I would strongly recommend;

1) Specifically state in your building plans allowable noise levels in all
offices and research spaces. Set an exact decibel level. This will allow
you to hold the architects and engineers responsible for excessively noisy
rooms due to vibrations or air conditioning related problems.

2) Specifically state air flow / air conditioning / heating requirements.
The worst problem our building faced was an improperly designed air
handling system. Over $500,000 was spent by the architect/engineers to
correct air handling problems after we occupied the building.

3) Think very carefully about your multimedia needs in teaching spaces for
both now and the future and run LOTS of conduit. Even if the conduit
remains empty you'll probably find a use for it in the near future. Be
sure the conduit has pull-strings. Anywhere you expect to put a multimedia
projector be sure the conduit is at least 2-3" in size...the larger the
better. Get a multimedia company involved VERY early in the design stage.
The installation will be much easier to do if you get help during design
and construction rather than after the building is completed and you end
up retrofitting the room.

A visit to our facilty would allow you to learn more details about the

Good luck!

John Mocko

On Thu, 14 Oct 1999, david arndt wrote:

> Hi all;
> We're entering the planning phase for a new 'science' bldg. here, and
> the consultant being used has consulted on the design of science
> facilities at:
> Ohio Wesleyan,
> Southwestern University,
> University of Southern Indiana,
> College of Charleston,
> St.Olaf College,
> Fort Lewis College,
> as well as at his own Grinnell College.
> Anyone out there from one of these campuses who cares to comment on
> their facilities? Was the building planned well? Are there changes you
> would like to see done after-the-fact?
> We have some reasonably good ideas about what we'd like to see as the
> end product. We'd like to hear of any problems with room/facility
> designs, specifically from these campuses, so we can address those
> up-front.
> Thanks in advance.
> (also, since this may not be of interest to the entire list, you can
> respond to
> --
> David S. Arndt
> Cal Poly State University -- Physics
> San Luis Obispo, CA


John Mocko
Senior Teaching Laboratory Specialist (Lecture Demonstrations)
Department of Physics
University of Florida
Gainesville, Fl.