Urban Environment Biogeochemistry Laboratory (UEBL)

Towson University | Towson, Maryland

MCA provided full architectural services for Towson University’s (TU) new 2,400 SF Urban Environment Biogeochemistry Laboratory (UEBL) located on the first floor of Smith Hall. UEBL is a collaborative effort between the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geosciences. The facility supports student and faculty research as well as TU’s Environmental Science Program. The laboratory also welcomes outside users on either a collaborative or fee basis.

The newly renovated spaces include an aquaculture organism experimentation lab, a sample intake lab, a clean sample processing lab, an instrument lab, and two exposure labs. The arrangement of the facilities creates a logical workflow from sample intake through instrumental analysis. The design of the facilities incorporates modern laboratory “best practices” and an appealing openness accomplished with a liberal use of glass replacing opaque concrete block walls. Lab spaces are not only more welcoming but offer environments with more safety features. The renovations also emphasize energy efficiency including the use of non-incandescent lighting systems with motion sensors and well-balanced HVAC systems.

Laboratory instrumentation includes two ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometers), a wavelength-dispersive XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometer), two Shimadzu HPLCs (high performance liquid chromatography), an atomic absorption spectrometer that has both flame and furnace capabilities, an ion chromatograph, a gas chromatograph – mass spectrometer, and a nitrogen-carbon analyzer. In addition to their use for research projects, these instruments are an important part of the curriculum in both undergraduate and graduate courses.

Project Highlights

  • Partially funded by a $1.4M National Science Foundation ARI grant and supplemented by funds from TU
  • Transparency between labs promotes a unique multi-disciplinary research environment and increases safety monitoring
  • Sample intake lab
  • Clean sample processing lab
  • Aquaculture organism experimentation lab
  • Instrumentation lab and two exposure labs

Have a question about this project?

Contact John Morrel, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP at jmorrel@mca.design

Project Details

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Architecture | Interior Design | Planning + Programming

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