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The Science of SpaceChris Hartlove

The Science of Space

A plethora of new labs allows young investigators to go where scientists have never gone before. Bacteria, beware.

Just over 50 years old, the Bloomberg School’s North Wing is young again.

Construction workers are making final tweaks to a sweeping renovation that encompasses a quarter of the School’s research labs—where investigation topics range from malaria and influenza, to sex differences and reproductive disorders, to basic research on how the human genome responds to its environment.

From the start, the renovation team’s goal wasn’t simply to update the North Wing’s labs but to build on decades of research—much of it from the School itself—on healthy and productive workspaces. Large windows and reflective surfaces spread light throughout most rooms. Open and flexible layouts promote collaboration. And state-of-the-art support systems minimize energy use.

The chance for the ambitious renovation arose when President Obama called for “shovel-ready” projects for the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The School proposed a complete overhaul to seven of the North Wing’s nine floors. (Some of the labs were not being used because they did not meet present-day lab standards.) Associate Dean Janet DiPietro, PhD, led the proposal’s drafting while Senior Associate Dean Jane Schlegel, MBA, directed Facilities’ planning and design work. The proposal received the maximum award of $15 million. A team from Facilities, including Dave Kempner, Mike Schoeffield, Kim Perreault and George Sparkes, managed the design and renovation phases.

In the following stories, see how space can shape science.

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