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Georgia Institute of Technology Marcus Nanotechnology Research Center Laboratory

This renovation and fit-out project consists of numerous individual laboratory and research spaces all approximately 30,000 square feet in size. The 190,000 square foot Marcus Nanotechnology Building complex, built in 2009, positions Georgia Tech as the premier research facility for nanotechnology in the US.

 

The research activities at Nanotechnology Research Center have potential to touch every aspect of human life, from health care advances to green energy development and personal technology. The Marcus Nanotechnology Building is designed to house research infrastructure of Georgia Tech’s Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN). IEN’s goal is to become a world-renowned epicenter for electronics, nanotechnology and related materials research and foster interdisciplinary scientific and translational research in electronics and nanotechnology and related material sciences. 

The Marcus Nanotechnology building currently houses up to 30,000 square feet of Clean Room space. WSP USA provided the programming, design and construction of build out for Bio-Nano and Physical-Nano labs on levels 2, 3 and 4 of lab wing of the building. The new laboratories and administrative support areas for the IEN will be constructed in the existing light-filled, highly transparent and highly visible laboratory wing which is connected to the Clean Room Wing via a central gallery, designed for ease of collaboration between research units and labs. This retrofitting and outfitting of three floors of laboratories will provide significant modern research space expressing the leading edge of both research and design.

The proposed design creates an open, adaptable laboratory environment that facilitates researcher interaction and develops a "home" for various research groups currently scattered in multiple buildings. Bio-Nano program consists of open lab spaces for four research groups, faculty offices, open offices for graduate students and conference room. Open lab concept enhances collaboration between research groups. Shared labs are located centrally to provide convenient access to all researchers.

The concept design is based on engineering systems and casework that allows flexibility and adaptability to meet changing research needs. Write-up areas and personnel flows though spaces are organized to encourage chance encounters to help foster an environment for collaborative research. Glass partitions are designed to achieve transparency between research areas and open offices.  A Faraday Cage with low frequency AC magnetic field attenuation characteristics to meet 100 Hz criteria is located in one of shared labs. This concept is taken further to create a lab module that incorporates glass walls between grad student spaces and individual labs to allow people to see each other, while also having their individual spaces. Flexible engineering systems and casework is the basis of design for each individual lab to provide opportunities to alter the spaces to meet their needs. 

In addition to three laboratory floors, the lower level will house the Microscopy and Imaging Center which will provide significant research capability for the development of nano-science and nanotechnology in the emerging field of biotechnology. Typical applications for imaging scopes include visualization of nano-particles, 3D surface mapping and nano-lithography. The design creates a series of suites with separate control and utility rooms within the new Microscopy Center. Each suite houses a specific type of high tech innovative imaging tool in an environment that showcases the product and facilitates researcher interaction. Examples of equipment to be showcased include Transmission Electron Microscopes, Scanning Electron Microscopes, Helium Ion Microscopes and X-Ray tools.  WSP has utilized duct sox for each instrument room to address the requirements for minimum turbulence and noise combined with air dispersion since a gentle draft from and HVAC diffuser can skew electron microscopy scans. WSP has worked with specialty consultants to address acoustics, vibration and AC/DC Emissions.