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Balancing Redundancy, Reliability, Flexibility, and Budgeting for Your Next Vivarium, BSL-3 and Imaging Program

Balancing Redundancy, Reliability, Flexibility, and Budgeting for Your Next Vivarium, BSL-3 and Imaging Program

Monday, September 20, 2021 -
10:00am to 10:45am

The new 360,000 sf Health Science Research Building II is a recently designed research facility for the Emory School of Medicine. The building is a 6-story research tower (wet and dry labs) on a 2 story plinth focused on complex Imaging, Vivarium and BSL3 program. This presentation will focus on the design strategies, reliability, constructability, and operation/maintenance parameters that went into the design of the G1 and G2 Complex Programs. Specifically BSL-3 Layout, ABSL-3 Layout, Vivarium Spaces, and Imaging Spaces.

For Emory University, HOK and Vanderweil developed systems options for consideration in support of the Center for Systems Imaging and Division of Animal Resources.  Each step of the design was evaluated with the Emory design team members to validate each decision to be sure we detailed the selected option. Trade partners were then brought on board to work with HOK and Vanderweil to obtain trade pricing for smart decision-making. The budgeting process was completed throughout the entire design period to assure that the project compliance was being followed. We will share this experience with the seminar participants to offer insight on your next project.


  • John Saad, LEED AP: Managing Principal at Vanderweil Engineers
  • Andrew P. Simpson, PE, LEED AP BD+C: Associate at Vanderweil Engineers
  • Chirag Mistry, AIA, LEED AP BD+C: Principal | Regional Leader of Science & Technology at HOK

Learning Objectives:

  • By participating in this session, you will understand how the architectural and engineering team worked together to implement complex imaging and vivarium / BSL-3 spaces into the 360,000 sf wet research building (HSRB-II).

  • How design options were presented, evaluated, and incorporated to achieve the right balance between reliability, safety, and operation.

  • How good, better, best analysis, was completed for a large/complex academic research facility with high technical BSL-3, ABSL-3, imaging, and vivarium spaces.

  • How can my project incorporate highly technical lab programs into the overall building program which meet the Owner’s operation and maintenance protocols including user operational expectations?