RMRS Forest Science Lab
Fort Collins, Colorado
- Project Overview
- Existing 1960s Federal Office and Laboratory Building
- Administrative and Research Headquarters for over 20 United States Forest Service (USFS) Scientists
- Design of New Laboratory Building on the Site
- Major Deliverables
- Master Planning to determine site feasibility and usage patterns
- Architectural Design
- Engineering Design
- Construction Administration
- Central Refrigeration
- Complex HVAC Systems
- Energy Efficient Lighting
- Emergency Power Systems
- Fire Protection
- Energy Star Roof
- Solar Powered Parking Light Fixtures
- LEED Silver Certification
Located adjacent to the campus of Colorado State University, the Rocky Mountain Research Station is the administrative and research headquarters for over 20 USFS scientists, performing short and long-term experimentation on plant life, water, snow, insects, and the ecosystems of 13 western states. The project site is dominated by an existing 1960s federal office and lab building.
SE performed extensive interviews with user personnel to determine exact program objectives and spatial relationships.
Innovative programming was utilized to create shared laboratory spaces. Scientists agreed to rotate usage of common and specialized laboratory equipment (including bench space, balances, vent hoods, and refrigeration systems) in order to decrease the footprint of the facility, thereby reducing the initial construction budget and reducing life-cycle costs and long-term energy footprint.
Engineering design encompassed complete lab services, including natural gas, city water, de-ionized water, and compressed air. Central refrigeration was designed for walk-in coolers and freezers. Substantial electric motors and panels, complex HVAC systems, energy-efficient lighting, emergency power systems, and fire protection were also included.
The facility was designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards, and uses 25% less energy than a standard building; employs an Energy Star roof; employs a 5 kilowatt photovoltaic array, has solar-powered parking light fixtures; is finished with low-VOC and sustainable materials; provides bicycle and fuel-efficient vehicle parking; is landscaped with native and adapted vegetation to eliminate the need for permanent irrigation.