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Northeastern Illinois University Microbiology Renovation - Pivot Environment


Bailey Edward is currently providing architectural and engineering services for the renovation of teaching, student and support spaces for both general education spaces and laboratories at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). The team is currently working to remodel existing laboratory classroom space in Bernard Brommel Hall. A main goal for the project was to maximize the number of students in an efficient education environment.

Bailey Edward thought about the ideal motion for the student as they engage in two forms of learning, lecture and experimentation. The ultimate ‘pivot’ design incorporates split counters that are one-half work surface and one-half lab surface with shared sinks arranged in three rows of eight students where the student can pivot from lecture mode, facing the front and the professor, to research mode facing the lab bench, performing experiments, without moving their seat. Using this approach, the former wet laboratory space becomes a teaching laboratory for up to 24 students and one instructor.

“This renovation will provide NEIU with the latest technologies in both instruction and student laboratory activities,” said Bailey Edward Project Manager, Michael Petti. “NEIU’s unique goal of providing their undergraduate students with an opportunity to participate in their professor’s actual laboratory research projects, as opposed to reserving that experience until graduate school, will be achieved through this work.”

At the conclusion of the renovation, the study of micro-biology, immunology and virology will be possible within the space. The room will meet a bio-safety level of two (BSL-2). All lighting, electrical and data is being updated, and the HVAC system is being rebalanced to accommodate the new loads.

Bailey Edward’s in-house Laboratory Planner Susan Turner further describes the new features of the space. “The finished layout will change the teaching wall location, providing for ADA accessibility, better viewing angles and student supervision by the instructor,” said Turner.

Said Petti, “The practical laboratory experience that will soon be available at NEIU will make their graduates more attractive candidates for both future employers and graduate school science programs alike.”