Virginia Commonwealth University – School of Engineering Biotech 8 – 3rd Floor Chemistry Laboratories

Located at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, Engineers Plus project scope consisted of the mechanical design of approximately 20,000 SF of graduate student chemistry research laboratories and supporting spaces in the Biotech 8 building. This project was partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a drug research program. The design included phasing to maintain partial occupancy during construction of five chemistry labs that contained a total of forty (40) new 8' laboratory fume hoods. Design included approximately 40,000 cfm of laboratory fume hood exhaust with high plume exhaust fans and make-up air with pumped glycol loop energy recovery between exhaust and make-up airstreams. Space pressure control was designed using variable volume supply and exhaust valves to modulate supply volumes based on exhaust requirements. Renovation of an existing building that was not designed for this extensive amount of laboratory exhaust, required coordination of rooftop equipment including an additional 100 tons of cooling. Welded stainless steel exhaust ductwork was installed within existing duct shafts and a new make-up air duct was installed in a new shaft routed through the three floors above. The welded exhaust duct was assembled off-site and “threaded” through the existing shaft by crane hoisting, saving project time and cost. The success of this first phase of the project has prompted the Gates Foundation to award an additional $25 million to VCU to create the Medicines for All Institute, a program that develops ways to make life saving medications affordable for those in need. View Article