On Tuesday, OMRF’s research tower received the 2014 S-Lab Award for best new research laboratory. The honor was presented at S-Lab’s “Supporting World Class Science” conference at Kings College, London.
S-Lab, short for “safe, successful, sustainable,” gives its awards for excellence in laboratory design, operation and management. OMRF’s tower was selected from a pool of more than 30 entries from around the world for its innovative design and environmentally friendly features.
The conference drew more than 350 participants involved in laboratory design, operation and management from across Europe, Asia and the U.S.
OMRF’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike D. “Chip” Morgan accepted the award and presented a keynote address to the group.
“Research institutes in countries outside the U.S. encounter special challenges to expansion, such as limited space and extremely high energy costs,” Morgan said. “They look to facilities in other countries to help them implement creative designs for research buildings that will have minimal impact on the environment. OMRF’s tower stood out as an example of a building created with sustainability in mind that some of them might want to follow.”
OMRF’s 186,000-square-foot tower opened in 2011 and received LEED Gold certification in 2012. Features of the tower include a state-of-the-art HVAC system with chilled beam technology to reduce the energy needed for heating and cooling, a green roof made up of native Oklahoma plants to contain storm water discharge, and motion-activated lights. The entire building is also designed to capture as much natural sunlight as possible to reduce lighting needs.
The tower’s rooftop wind farm containing 18 vertical turbines represents a unique design element built into the structure. It is believed to be world’s first building to incorporate vertical turbines into its original design.
“Our research tower has provided us with new research and clinical space, but it also stands as a testament to OMRF’s dedication to creating a healthier environment for our community,” said Morgan. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition from our international peers and hope that our experience will assist them in the future, not just for expansion’s sake but also for advances in medical research worldwide.”