Pioneering Design for the Nano World • Vol. 2 - Issue 1 home » News (Nano Frontier) » Previous Issues » Vol. 2 - Issue 1
  INSIDE this issue
BAT II Workshop Reviews Hot News: Governemnt Steps Up to the Nanoplate
  Essence of the Act Programming...Designing...Building the Building
  No nano Amount for Broad-Based Programs Other Hot Topics
  Investigating the Investment Modes  
"Boutique Nanotechnology" at USF: Nano Lab on Nano Budget
  USF's First Core Facility Same Systems
  "Boutique Nanotechnology at USF"
USF Nanotech I
This drawing shows the south elevation of Nanotech I.

By early 2005, the doors will open on a new research building that falls under a newly coined term, "boutique nanotechnology." The University of South Florida (USF) hired HDR to provide architectural and engineering services for this highly specialized nanoscience building on its Tampa campus.

As with any boutique, the scale is smaller, but the quality high. At 15,000 gross square feet, "Nanotech I," as the new building will be called, is notably smaller than other large, high-profile complex labs designed by HDR. However, the $3 million facility will have all the bells and whistles as its more sizeable counterparts. The lab will house clean rooms, high-quality wet laboratories, metrology labs, test areas and supporting office space.

According to Alan Temple, AIA, HDR project manager, the university wanted a standalone facility, apart from the university's other research buildings, for the express purpose of studying nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing.

USF's First Core Facility
“This will be the first ‘core facility’,” said Professor Michael Kovac, director of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing at USF. It is one of five that the university plans, aimed at bringing together multi-discipline, multi-college users, as well as outside researchers, he said, noting the burgeoning trend toward collaborative research. This side-by-side work environment for researchers of diverse backgrounds facilitates “totally unpredictable
and spectacular results” through interactive knowledge-sharing, Kovac said.
“USF is firmly committed to nanotechnology research, and anticipates significant recruiting benefits from showcasing our research facilities, in terms of both students and faculty,” he said.

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Same Systems
According to Jim Wermes, PE, HDR mechanical/electrical and process systems engineer for the project, the lab required the same extremely tight tolerances as other similar facilities, in terms of noise, for example. With sound requirements below the threshold of human hearing, mechanical systems like air conditioning become critical concerns.

The building's design centers around flexibility, in its current layout and for expansion and future development, Temple said. The interior must be modular so that various activities can be moved around. In short, although it is a smaller lab in the overall scheme of nanotechnology labs, the same complex systems had to be considered and installed for the identical kinds of highly sensitive, highly technical research work.

“HDR will deliver the same quality building as in a much larger facility,” according to Mark Jamison, HDR national director of advanced technology, “so
the smaller labs that we design still realize the same ‘bang for the buck’.”
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