Type of Construction
General Scope of Project
As a key component of Providence, Rhode Island’s “Knowledge District”, the CORO building is located in a section of the urban core where an ongoing initiative seeks to promote the development of academic, scientific, life science, and biomedical facilities that complement one another. For many years, Rhode Island Hospital has relied upon the CORO building as an integral element that strongly supports the dedication to continued excellence in healthcare and medical research. This research laboratory will enhance the current research activities within the building and will also serve as a critical component in achieving the bold vision for the evolution of this center into a premier scientific campus.
The vision of this project focuses on creating an open, universal lab design that is organized around central circulation with active engagement opportunities. Taking advantage of the abundant natural light at the perimeter informs the placement of laboratories, the Clinical Research Center (CRC), and investigator collaboration spaces. The concept of transparency and interaction is also supported by gathering nodes sprinkled throughout the circulation corridors. Providing areas for informal chance encounters is one of the most critical design concepts to fostering an innovative and collaborative environment. We firmly believe that the physical design of the project can be a significant driver to expanding the research horizons of the investigators and staff. We also included dedicated collaboration spaces in an effort to promote scientific networking opportunities and encourage expanded fields of exploration.
In addition to promoting collaboration, the programmatic layout also responds to workflows that address laboratory protocols and streamlined access to supporting facilities and functions. The three principal laboratory zones are serviced by support spaces clustered in two cores that provide ready access. The central spine between the two cores establishes a clear path and links the overall circulation plan with the existing stairs and elevators to provide ready access for staff who need to visit other floors of the building for related research functions. An administrative and security zone oversees the primary access point via the existing pedestrian bridge. This also serves as a control point to funnel staff into the research area while directing patients to the adjacent Clinical Research Center (CRC). The CRC allows staff access directly from within the research zone, while maintaining separated flow of patient traffic. This arrangement allows investigators to maintain convenient proximity between their research spaces and evaluating patients within the CRC.
The very nature of the research being proposed for this renovated space is rooted in the core concepts of sustainable design practices. Numerous design strategies are being incorporated into this project to aid in providing a space that enhances the health and welfare of its occupants and promotes a sustainable planet. In addition to proposing upgraded, high-efficiency mechanical systems to minimize the high energy consumption typically associated with laboratory and research spaces, the project will utilize low energy LED light fixtures, an automatic lighting control system, natural light and management of computers and other technology so that they idle and do not use additional electricity when not needed. Low VOC finishes, a shared refrigerator/ freezer farm, low flow plumbing fixtures and water conservation will also aid in the sustainability of this building. The renovated area will be designed to the standards of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which is adopted by the State of RI as a model for sustainable construction.
May 3, 2021