www.rdmag.com June 2018 R&DMagazine 9 www.rdmag.com June 2018 R&DMagazine 9
MaryBeth DiDonna is Editor of Laboratory
Design. www.labdesignnews.com, marybeth.
mounted to the overhead carriers to permit
electrical devices of varying voltages
and amperages to be positioned where
necessary for the equipment. The room
maintains an open space in the middle due
to fixed work benches, storage cabinets
and sinks positioned around the perimeter.
A distributor of advanced manufacturing
equipment agreed to a partnership with MSU
Denver where the distributor will continually
re-stock the lab with its most current
equipment in exchange for permission to
utilize the lab as a showroom. Large windows
were therefore included in the design plan
so that the distributor can demonstrate the
equipment to its clients while it is in action.
Another example is the thermal/
heat transfer and fluids flow laboratory,
The Laboratory of the Year judging
panel remarked that they were impressed
by the value of the product, which they
called “unbelievable for Colorado.”
They praised the design team for their
innovative and creative use of funding,
and remarked that the AES facility is a
good example of how a lab building can
contribute to the community.
“The building brings together several
academic departments that had previously
been housed in separate buildings. The
budget wouldn’t support all of the space
that the departments wanted,” said
Hillhouse. “One key for overcoming this
was MSU Denver’s creation of the new
Advanced Manufacturing Institute that
facilitates sharing of spaces in the building.
Another was designing spaces for double-
duty: a student lounge also acts as lecture
“The biggest cost-saving move was
organizing the building into a simple
bar with all laboratories clustered on one
side of the bar and all offices clustered
on the other,” continued Hillhouse. “This
minimizes distribution of expensive lab
systems and achieves the most floor area for
the least skin expenditure.”
Hillhouse noted that the promise of
a skilled, educated workforce was key to
getting local manufacturing and aerospace
companies to agree to partner with MSU
Denver on the AES building project.
“In our local advanced manufacturing
industry, there is a vacuum in which
companies need staff with a complex skill-set
that combines computer programming,
managing teams of people and the ability
to work with one’s hands, but can’t find
staff qualified for the work,” said Hillhouse.
“It was easy to convince companies to be
involved in the planning of the project
because the companies could see that the
project would create a pipeline that would fill
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