With historical strengths in education, engineering, business, geology, and medicine, the Memorial University of Newfoundland is a top Canadian university and with nearly 18,000 students. It is also the largest university in Atlantic Canada.
In 2008, the new Dean of Science completed a tour of facilities and learned of numerous deficiencies within the existing laboratory buildings. We reviewed and assessed over 200 laboratories for code and standard compliance, operating conditions, and to determine costs to upgrade. The goal was to identify and correct issues so that the labs could remain functional and safe until the design and construction of a new Core Science Building was complete.
Fast forward to 2012. We designed $13.5 million in life safety upgrades to several labs including the organic chemistry lab. Careful planning was critical for the successful renovation of existing infrastructure, which had to remain in operation while the upgrades occurred. For the new organic chemistry lab, a two year, $3 million multi-phase design allowed the lab to be shut down in mid-year, renovated and upgraded with 18 new fume hoods, and back in operation by September 2013.