Laboratory Renovations

Villanova University Villanova, PA



The Mendel Science Center, on Villanova’s campus, is home to classrooms, research labs, a greenhouse and a rooftop observatory. Named for the Augustinian Friar Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, the state-of-art facility has served undergraduate and graduate students since 1961.

Working with lead architect, JacobsWyper, we provided Mechanical (HVAC, Plumbing, Fire Protection) and Electrical (Power, Lighting, Fire Alarm, Security/Tele/Data) systems engineering for comprehensive renovations to modernize several teaching and research labs and support spaces in the Mendel Science Center. Entech provided recommendations for modern, maintainable, and sustainable building systems and guided the project from conceptual design to substantial completion. Renovations to the lab areas were implemented in such a manner that the University was able to utilize the existing building during the construction period.

Solution Details

The project involved HVAC, plumbing, and electrical renovations to three separate areas in the Mendel Science Center including a physics lab on the 2nd floor, a chemistry lab, chemical storage room, and office on the 3rd floor, and multiple lab and corridor spaces in the east wing of the basement. Phoenix Venturi air valves to provide more accurate airflow control for the existing fume hoods, emergency eyewashes and safety showers to comply with code and Villanova’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and lab gas piping and electrical power distribution to support the programming of the spaces. The project encompassed an area of more than 8,500 sq. ft.

A distinctive design feature was Villanova’s desire to have a powered window film on the new corridor windows in several of the lab areas. The film is capable of adjusting light transmission between transparent and opaque. Entech’s design accommodated this by providing the necessary power connections to each powered window film in such a way that the conduit does not distract from the architectural features of the new windows.

This feature enhances collaboration, and safety. The new open environment provides students with new learning opportunities which includes observing the use of equipment like Villanova’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometers. More natural light flows through the rooms reducing energy needs and, in the case of emergencies, first responders are now able to see what is going on in a lab before opening the door.

New lighting fixtures follow the same linear pendant style that is already being utilized in the building and all equipment and systems were designed to adhere to Villanova’s laboratory standards.

The renovation of the lab spaces in the Mendel Science Center provides a welcoming environment where students and visitors can observe, study, and learn.

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