EDGEWATER, Md., May 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EwingCole , an award-winning architecture and engineering firm based in Philadelphia, has designed a new $45,000,000 research laboratory for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. EwingCole's renderings of the new facility were revealed at a groundbreaking ceremony in Edgewater, Md. It is expected to be completed in late 2013.
"It was important to SERC that the landscape and building be designed as an integrated whole," said Howard Skoke, AIA, lead architect and principal of EwingCole's science & technology practice. "We worked closely with administrators, scientists and staff to create a project that meets current needs with great efficiency, but is also flexible enough to accommodate program changes in the future."
Named in honor of U.S. Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias Jr. (1922-2010) (R-Md.), the two-story, 90,000-square-foot structure will be home to an interdisciplinary team of more than 180 researchers, technicians and students. Their research addresses global climate change, the effects of nutrients and chemicals passing through our landscapes, maintenance of productive fisheries, changes to our environment from biological invaders and protection of fragile wetlands and woodlands.
"The Mathias Laboratory project is a cornerstone of the Smithsonian's environmental research, education and commitment to sustainability," explained Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough.
In the interest of both sustainable design and long-term cost efficiency, energy modeling was used during planning to help identify the appropriate strategies. EwingCole also utilized Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21) design guidelines for project development.
Upon completion, this facility will be one of the most energy-efficient and sustainable research laboratories in the world and is pursuing LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Included in the design are the following major sustainable features:
Heat recovery of laboratory exhaust air (Total Enthalpy Wheel)
Demand control ventilation in laboratory spaces
Ground source geothermal well field system central plant used for both heating and cooling
Innovative water conservation and storm water management/recovery
"This new laboratory represents a renewed long-term commitment by the Smithsonian to world-class environmental research on the Chesapeake Bay estuary and watershed, and on coastal ecosystems around the world," said SERC Director Anson Hines.
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