Future Addition of Dedicated Research Space
As noted above, space requirements for research can be expected to outstrip the space available in academic labs in a reasonably short time. As research requirements and contractual, sponsored funding grow, investment in new research space will be required, in addition to the purchase of additional specialized equipment.
A building dedicated specifically to research should be between 2,500 square meters (sm) and 5,000 sm at a minimum. Of this space, approximately half to two-thirds should be devoted to laboratory space and the remainder to office and administrative space for faculty, students, and research and technical staff. Commonly, between 50 sm to 100 sm is required for each of the specialized research equipment such as microprobe analyzer, x-ray single crystal analyzer, high resolution scanning microscopes and others. These areas should be environmentally controlled for temperature and humidity and vibrationally quiet with specialized concrete pads or other support structures on the ground floor level. The building should contain adequate space for expanding and adding specialized components or experimental stations to the major instruments themselves.
Specimen preparation facilities adjacent to the instruments also will be required. These should be equipped with special ventilation, inert gas, coolant gases such as liquid nitrogen or helium, and specialized power supplies. Laboratory space with hooded ventilation for dealing with toxic chemicals or materials should be provided in roughly one-quarter to one-third of the research area.
Mechanical testing facilities will require flexible and relatively open space with ceiling heights at six to ten meters, which is roughly double those of regular labs or office space. The extra height will be necessary to accommodate specialized equipment such as dynamic testing equipment. Metallurgical or industrial processing facilities also will require specialized ventilation for ovens or furnaces, hooded lab spaces, and other specialized facilities depending on the nature of the research (corrosion, fatigue, or creep, for example) being conducted.
In general, with the exception of specialized instrumentation facilities, research space and offices should have movable walls in order to allow for adjusting space to meet the needs of specific research projects. Such flexible space will allow for better and more effective use of limited research space, especially in the initial years of growth and development of research centers.
It is premature at this point to speculate on when such a building may be needed. It can be stated, however, that the building should be constructed on the male sector of the campus if land is available in this area. Alternatively, space may be available in the vicinity of the athletic fields, or space may be provided off campus.