University of Minnesota
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory
Centrally locating sensitive research magnets for the University of Minnesota’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Research Laboratory to provide research efficiency in the Academic Health District, the university sought to retrofit two levels of an underground condemned parking structure to support as many as 12 high-powered magnets weighing up to 9 tons.
One of the largest NMR laboratories in the country, the space required removal and replacement of an entire level of structurally unstable flooring of the parking deck, elimination of an existing floor slope, and the addition of a new level with columns to support the new slab. With magnets operating as low as -450 degrees Fahrenheit, the space required new mechanical systems for daily operations as well as safety for occupants during emergency events, and a unique solution for a lab vent hood that utilizes an existing exterior exhaust in an adjacent building running through 16 floors.
A penthouse on the at-grade plaza above the space accommodates the installation of new magnets. The plaza was redesigned with beautiful amenities to create public space and pedestrian routes through the academic health district.
Size: 69,400 sq. ft. laboratory; 27,900 sq. ft. plaza
Components: Research laboratory space and mechanicals supporting up to 12 high-powered, multi-ton magnets; support labs; conference room; offices; departmental lobby
News & Views: Converting an Existing Campus Building into a Modern Science Lab