Higher Education

Zebrafish Tank Suite

Client:

UMASS LOWELL

Location:

LOWELL, MA

This Zebrafish tank suite was designed to support genetics research at an associated laboratory space on an upper floor. The tank suite was located in the basement of Olsen Hall taking advantage of space perfectly suited for such a use. In addition to inherent advantages such as structural and proximity to building mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, the subterranean location allowed for easier thermal, environmental, light and access control than upper floors. The space is designed to maintain rigid thermal and humidity control, stand up to high humidity, salt water exposure, and provides an advanced lighting control system to mimic day lighting and circadian rhythm. The adjacent support space for fish food prep, management, monitoring and maintenance is designed to maintain normal environmental conditions separate from the fish tank suite.

Zebrafish Genetics Research Lab

Client:

UMASS LOWELL

Location:

LOWELL, MA

This research laboratory space was designed to support genetics research using Zebrafish. The project looked at a series of locations on campus to locate both the laboratory research space and the associated tank suite for live Zebrafish. This location in UMass Lowell’s Olsen Hall was selected providing a light filled research space on the upper 6th floor, with the heavier tank suite located in the subterranean basement. See our profile on the Olsen Fish Tank Suite project. The project features a separated write up area allowing students and visitors to come and go from this area while limiting access and potential contamination in the main lab area and visual connection between spaces.

Olney 304 - Research Labortory

Client:

UMASS LOWELL

Location:

LOWELL, MA

GRA designed this renovation to create a modern interdisciplinary biology and chemistry research facility in UMass Lowell’s Olney laboratory building. The facility provides 8 fume hoods for chemistry work, incubators, bio-safety cabinets for cell culture, and imaging facilities.

Olney 303 - Chemistry Teaching Lab

Client:

UMASS LOWELL

Location:

LOWELL, MA

This renovation updates one of UMass Lowell’s teaching laboratories to the current modern teaching methods the University employs. Open, flexible, and efficient the laboratory space allows for a variety of teaching methods and student collaboration on various project types. A flexible lecture, presentation, and instruction area allows classes to be held in an adaptable style on the fly and with modern presentation tools available to instructors.

Trace Metals Research Laboratory

Client:

Umass Amherst

Location:

Amherst, MA

All laboratory spaces are unique and highly specific to the techniques, tolerances and preferences of the researchers using the facility. Trace metals laboratories require an additional level of scrutiny for all materials and processes involved in the construction and maintenance of these clean room level facilities. With specific requirements for contamination mitigation and isolation, the trace metals lab is designed to control access and potential contamination from all sources.

This laboratory is designed as a series of clean rooms with increasing clean room ratings. The entry from the corridor is designed with an air lock type function. The first room is the ‘low level’ room for initial work and processing. The ‘high level’ lab is for sample processing and research. The two labs are connected via a doorway for researcher access, and an air lock pass through window box to limit air transfer.

Heavy acids including hydrofluoric acid is in use in the ‘high level’ lab and as a result polypropylene fume hoods, casework and exhaust system with wash-down were specified to stand up to the chemicals.

Pearson Michael Chemistry Department

Client:

tufts university

Location:

somerville, MA

GRA designed a comprehensive renovation to the Pearson Michael chemistry complex at Tufts University. The project included new lecture and conference facilities, chemistry teaching laboratories, support spaces, and building envelope improvements.

Percival Hall - Business School Renovation

Client:

Fitchburg State University

Location:

Fitchburg, MA

GRA master planned and designed this multi-phase renovation of the Percival Hall Building on the main University quadrangle of Fitchburg State University.

The project revitalizes the historically significant former elementary school as the new home for Fitchburg State’s premier business school. Modern case rooms, presentation level class rooms, board room, and lounge space provides modern facilities for Fitchburg State’s modern teaching methods. Academic offices, conference/collaborative spaces and support spaces are all renovated to create an efficient, open and inviting environment for students, staff, and visitors.

The project is currently in construction on phase three to renovate the main second floor classrooms and common areas.

Student Central

Client:

Bunker Hill Community College

Location:

Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College brought GRA in to modernize one of the most important spaces on campus. The existing Building B lobby had been underutilized and laid out to support the older method of student interaction with ample space dedicated to queuing lines and waiting areas. Modern online registration and campus management systems have presented BHCC with an opportunity to reclaim space and transform the main entrance to their campus and the entire way students interact with the administration.

The existing building B serves as: 1) The main entrance to the entire campus which thousands of students pass through each day; 2) the main student and administration interaction point for all campus services from Bursar to Registrar; 3) the default gathering space. The goal of the College: Transform the space to a new, welcoming student center for students to interact with administration and each other in a casual organized setting. Flexibility, visibility, and accessibility were critical goals of the College, as was reclaiming and re-purposing space to serve their modern diverse student body. The project re-invents the way the college interacts with administration and re-brands the entire student experience.

  • A long transaction counter creates a welcoming and approachable presence for the administration in the space with capacity to staff up for high volume periods or special events but is also capable of being staffed by only one individual if necessary.

  • Individual podium style desks allow students to walk up to staff trained to resolve their issue on an appointment basis if their issue cannot be handled online. With proximity to the lounge space there is no need for a traditional waiting area, or queuing line, rather students can spend time in the study area or grabbing a snack while waiting for their appointment respecting both student and staff time.

  • The re-organized administrative “back office” areas are near by but not visually connected allowing staff to be close enough to resolve issues if necessary.

This exciting and colorful design has set the standard for future renovations at the campus.

Building M Study

Client:

Bunker Hill Community College

Location:

Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College selected GRA to look at the replacement of the existing ‘Building M’ facility which currently houses the Math department and other academic services. The existing facility is separate from the main academic spaces making it better used for support services than for core academic programs. The study proposes a two story facility relocating support functions such as facilities, campus police, receiving, and printing to the first floor of the new facility, with academic offices and meeting spaces above on the second floor. The study also proposes making a new connection to the ‘main street’ promenade corridor which runs the entire campus resolving the connection issue., creating a gathering ‘lounge’ space at the connection point.

English Department Offices

Client:

Boston University

Location:

Boston, MA

This sensitive renovation of 239 Bay State Road refreshed the academic offices of Boston University’s English Department. The project completely restructured the first floor lobby, modernized fire barriers and enhanced occupant safety throughout the building. Old building systems were re-organized and modernized to provide the University with a clean, fresh, modern office building with the historic nature of the facility revived and enhanced. The front entry was completely re-built to maintain the historic feel of the building while bringing the entry into compliance with modern building codes.

School of Public Health Labs

Client:

UMass Lowell

Location:

Amherst, MA

This project creates modern teaching laboratory spaces for the School of Public Health core programs. The facility creates new collaborative work areas for students to work in teams collectively and individually depending on the application. Spaces are flexible, bright, inviting areas for students of all degree levels.

NIH Interdisciplinary Labs

Client:

UMass Amherst

Location:

Amherst, MA

Size/Cost:

15,000sf/$12.3mil


This NIH Labs project is UMass Amherst’s interdisciplinary bio-chemistry research facility located on three floors of the Lederle Graduate Research Center high rise building. The 15,000sf facility is designed to be flexible, allowing the facility to evolve with changes in interdisciplinary research demands. The facility sues flexible furniture and adaptable services to support a variety of different uses and arrangements.

The project fully renovated three floors of the high rise with a focus on sustainable laboratory design practices. Building systems were modernized adding an energy recovery system and high efficiency HVAC systems.

The laboratory spaces are visually connected to write up and support spaces. Glass partitions are used to contain high demand HVAC areas from low demand areas such as write up while maintaining visual connection.

The projects provides UMass Amherst world class, modern, energy efficient, research facilities maintaining their leadership role in the field.