University of Southern Maine
Science Building C300

Higher Education:

This 21st Century lab provides an enhanced learning environment while encouraging teamwork among students and faculty. Through 3D digital design sessions with the lab users, Lavallee Brensinger’s team presented, discussed, and explored multiple layout options to allow users to clearly understand the space from both the professor and student perspectives.

The key to the design is the oval shaped “Bean Table,” providing an ergonomic configuration that encourages collaboration among each group of four students, improves learning, and increases safety. The layout allows clear line-of-sight between students and lab instructors, promoting greater interaction and allows for greater supervision. The Bean Table design provides ample and accessible work surfaces, incorporating reagent shelving, electrical, water, and gases at the bench top level, and casework below for storage, including a powered laptop drawer for convenience.

Current and potential students are able to view science-on-display through openings punched through the corridor that look into the lab. Energy saving features were integrated in the design that include high-efficiency LED lighting and low-flow fume hoods. This new lab allows the University flexibility to host a variety of functions including undergraduate research, STEM programs, and collaborative community studies..