General Laboratory Construction

AA Instrument

Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a spectroanalytical procedure for the quantitative determination of chemical elements using the absorption of optical radiation (light) by free atoms in the gaseous state.

Significance to NYCOM – AAs must be exhausted via a snorkel (preferably fixed).


the process by which specimens are logged in, labeled, and assigned a specimen identification code.  Usually associated with biological specimens in a hospital clinical lab.


requiring oxygen vs. anaerobic


Above Finished Floor

Air Differential Seal

Fabricated from ANSI 304 stainless steel, and is affixed to the sterile or non-sterile end.  Adjustable interface panels are provided at the top, bottom, and sides, with a silicone gasket to seal the unit system to facility structure.  This seal is used to maintain room air pressure.  (reference bioseal)

American Association of Blood Banks

international association that sets blood bank standards, accredits blood banks, and promotes high standards of performance in the practice of transfusion medicine


growing in the absence of oxygen vs. aerobic


ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. Approval of an American National Standard requires verification by ANSI that the requirements for due process, consensus, and other criteria for approval have been met by the standards developer.


American National Standards Institute –  a private, nonprofit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide.

ANSI’s standards can become code when adopted by an agency such as NEC or OSHA.

ANSI accredits standards that are developed by representatives of other standards organizations, government agencies, consumer groups, companies, and others. These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent, that people use the same definitions and terms, and that products are tested the same way. ANSI also accredits organizations that carry out product or personnel certification in accordance with requirements defined in international standards.

The organization’s headquarters are in Washington, DC. The ANSI annual operating budget is funded by the sale of publications, membership dues and fees, accreditation services, fee-based programs, and international standards programs.

The subgroup NYCOM really cares about is ANSI / AIHA Z9.5


ANSI Z9.5 2012

Z9.5 is the section of the ANSI Standard that covers “Laboratory Ventilation.  The latest version is 2012


American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

ASCLS – American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science

professional society and credentialing agency for clinical laboratory personnel

ASCP – American Society for Clinical Pathology

professional society and credentialing agency for clinical laboratory personnel and allied health personnel


American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, a professional group that sets industry accepted standards for fume hood testing procedures


founded in 1894 to serve as a source of technical standards and guidelines. Since that time, it has grown into an international society that offers educational information, courses, seminars, career guidance, and publications. The organization also promotes a code of ethics for HVAC professionals and provides for liaison with the general public. One of the most important functions of the organization is to promote research and development in efficient, environmentally friendly technologies.


is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Some 12,575 ASTM voluntary consensus standards operate globally. The organization’s headquarters is in West Conshohocken, PA.,

Autoclave / Sterilizer

an instrument that uses pressurized steam for sterilization.  These are expensive to very expensive pieces of equipment that NYCOM wants to have included in our scope of work.  There are significant details to be understood and confirmed in the specifications: materials, electrical requirements, steam source, location, modwall interface, delivery to site, hoisting, rigging, rough ins, final connections, our strategic/dynamic relationships with various vendors, etc.

Auxiliary Air Hood

A fume hood design that was popular in the 1980s as a means to conserve energy by bringing in unconditioned air into a lab and “dropping” at the face of a fume hood.  Numerous problems are inherent with this technology – temperature/humidity of the unconditioned air and its impact on a user and process in the hood – effectiveness of the distribution of the supply air and impact on containment. The additional blower, etc. 

NCYOM does not recommend this hood for current lab designs; Account Managers must get approval from their Sales Director before including these units in a proposal.


Architectural Woodwork Standards. 

Prior to 2009, there were 3 independent associations that defined independent standards for Division millwork and casework:  ŒAWI – Architectural Woodwork Institute (the biggest), WI – Woodwork Institute (mostly west coast), ŽAWMAC – Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada.  Though the differences were not tremendous, they did exist.  These associations still exist independently, but now come together to publish one set of woodwork standards – AWS.  For clarity, AWS is a set of standards written and adopted by these 3 associations.  AWS is not an association in and of itself.


is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association, an association of manufacturers of desk products and the like


The US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee has the following definition:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.

Traditional building design was largely reliant upon 2D technical model (plans, elevations, sections, etc.). Building information modeling extends this beyond 3D, augmenting the three primary spatial dimensions (width, height and depth) with time as the fourth dimension 4D and cost as the fifth (5D).  BIM therefore covers more than just geometry. It also covers spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components (for example, manufacturers’ details).

BIM involves representing a design as combinations of “objects” – vague and undefined, generic or product-specific, solid shapes or void-space oriented (like the shape of a room), that carry their geometry, relations and attributes. BIM design tools allow extraction of different views from a building model for drawing production and other uses. These different views are automatically consistent, being based on a single definition of each object instance.  BIM software also defines objects parametrically; that is, the objects are defined as parameters and relations to other objects, so that if a related object is amended, dependent ones will automatically also change.  Each model element can carry attributes for selecting and ordering them automatically, providing cost estimates as well as material tracking and ordering.

For the professionals involved in a project, BIM enables a virtual information model to be handed from the design team (architects, landscape architects, surveyors, civil, structural & building services engineers, etc) to the main contractor and subcontractors and then on to the owner/operator; each professional adds discipline-specific data to the single shared model. This reduces information losses that traditionally occurred when a new team takes ‘ownership’ of the project, and provides more extensive information to owners of complex structures.

NYCOM’s current use of “BIM” requires generation of our casework submittals in Revit® for primary use for “clash detection” via Navisworks®.


Biological Safety Cabinet

(BSC) a special work cabinet that provides protection for personnel as well as the product by means of HEPA filters and an Air curtain while working with infections microorganisms. 


Is located on the sterilizer’s sterile end and prevent the passage of airborne microorganisms to a non-classified space.  It can be used in conjunction with a bioseal on the non-sterile end.   (reference air dif seal)

Blood Bank

clinical laboratory department where blood components are tested and stored until needed for transfusion; immunohematology department; transfusion services; also the refrigerated unit used for storing blood components


Biosafety Cabinet

BSL Levels

These 4 classifications were created and undated by the CDC.  Each level includes all the requirements of the preceding level and its specific additional requirements.


As the lowest of the four, biosafety level 1 applies to laboratory settings in which personnel work with low-risk microbes that pose little to no threat of infection in healthy adults. An example of a microbe that is typically worked with at a BSL-1 is a nonpathogenic strain of E. coli.

This laboratory setting typically consists of research taking place on benches without the use of special contaminant equipment. A BSL-1 lab, which is not required to be isolated from surrounding facilities, houses activities that require only standard microbial practices, such as:

·   Mechanical pipetting only (no mouth pipetting allowed)

·   Safe sharps handling

·   Avoidance of splashes or aerosols

·   Daily decontamination of all work surfaces when work is complete

·   Hand washing

·   Prohibition of food, drink and smoking materials in lab setting

·   Personal Protective Equipment such as; eye protection, gloves and a lab coat or gown

·   Biohazard signs

·   BSL-1 labs also require immediate decontamination after spills. Infection materials are also decontaminated prior to disposal, generally through the use of an autoclave.


This biosafety level covers laboratories that work with agents associated with human diseases (i.e. pathogenic or infections organisms) that pose a moderate health hazard. Examples of agents typically worked with in a BSL-2 include equine encephalitis viruses and HIV, as well as Staphylococcus aureus (staph infections).

BSL-2 laboratories maintain the same standard microbial practices as BSL-1 labs, but also includes enhanced measures due to the potential risk of the aforementioned microbes. Personnel working in BSL-2 labs are expected to take even greater care to prevent injuries such as cuts and other breaches of the skin, as well as ingestion and mucous membrane exposures.

In addition to BSL 1 expectation, the following practices are required in a BSL 2 lab setting:

·   Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn, including lab coats and gloves. Eye protection and face shields can also be worn, as needed.

·   All procedures that can cause infection from aerosols or splashes are performed within a biological safety cabinet (BSC).

·   An autoclave or an alternative method of decontamination is available for proper disposals.

·   The laboratory has self-closing, lockable doors.

·   A sink and eyewash station should be readily available.

·   Biohazard warning signs

·   Access to a BSL-2 lab is far more restrictive than a BSL-1 lab. Outside personnel, or those with an increased risk of contamination, are often restricted from entering when work is being conducted.


Again, building upon the two prior biosafety levels, a BSL-3 laboratory typically includes work on microbes that are either indigenous or exotic, and can cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation. Examples of microbes worked with in a BSL-3 includes; yellow fever, West Nile virus, and the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.

The microbes are so serious that the work is often strictly controlled and registered with the appropriate government agencies. Laboratory personnel are also under medical surveillance and could receive immunizations for microbes they work with.

Common requirements in a BSL-3 laboratory include:

·   Standard personal protective equipment must be worn, and respirators might be required

·   Solid-front wraparound gowns, scrub suits or coveralls are often required

·   All work with microbes must be performed within an appropriate BSC

·   Access hands-free sink and eyewash are available near the exit

·   Sustained directional airflow to draw air into the laboratory from clean areas towards potentially contaminated areas (Exhaust air cannot be re-circulated)

·   A self-closing set of locking doors with access away from general building corridors

·   Access to a BSL-3 laboratory is restricted and controlled at all times.


BSL-4 labs are rare. However, some do exist in a small number of places in the US and around the world. As the highest level of biological safety, a BSL-4 lab consists of work with highly dangerous and exotic microbes. Infections caused by these types of microbes are frequently fatal, and come without treatment or vaccines. Two examples of such microbes include Ebola and Marburg viruses.

In addition to BSL-3 considerations, BSL-4 laboratories have the following containment requirements:

·   Personnel are required to change clothing before entering, shower upon exiting

·   Decontamination of all materials before exiting

·   Personnel must wear appropriate personal protective equipment from prior BSL levels, as well as a full body, air-supplied, positive pressure suit

·   A Class III biological safety cabinet

·   A BSL-4 laboratory is extremely isolated—often located in a separate building or in an isolated and restricted zone of the building. The laboratory also features a dedicated supply and exhaust air, as well as vacuum lines and decontamination systems.

Useful and important link for practical understanding


California Hood

Loose term sometimes used for a double-sided floor mounted chemical fume hood.  As the baffles on these hoods have to be moved to the end walls, the airflow patterns are not stable as with a standard hood.  Therefore, these hoods rarely pass ASHRAE test and are therefore correctly call Hood Enclosures and not Chemical Fume Hoods.


College of American Pathologists


Cubic Feet per Minute.  I Nycom’s world, it is the measure of the exhaust volume of a chemical fume hood or an exhausted Biosafety Cabinet (BSC).  In terms of energy consumption, CFMs are what you are paying for.  It is conditioned, single pass air that is rather expensive.  Reduction of CFMs from an assumed starting point is a significant focus of LEED



Clean Room

A conditioned space, focused on a reduced particulate count – measured in several ways.  While a clean room can also be controlled for temp and rH (like an Environmental Room), they do not have to be.  The original classification of clean rooms was by FED STD 209E and fairly straight forward based solely on the number of particulates over a particular size (.1um) per m3.  ISO has now issued its own standards (ISO 14644-1) and are more complicated as they a maximum particulate count for 6 particle sizes per m3 for each class.

FED STD 209E was cancelled by the US Government (GSA) in 2001, but is still used in many conversations.


More information and a cross reference chart:


Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)

an international, nonprofit organization that establishes standards of best current practice for clinical laboratories; formerly National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS)


Clinical Chemistry

This field deals with analyzing blood, urine and other body fluids. Their constituents i.e. proteins and enzymes are determined. The results from this analysis is used as a basis for patient diagnosis.

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA ’88)

in general terms, the CLIA regulations establish quality standards for laboratory testing performed on specimens from humans, such as blood, body fluid and tissue, for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease, or assessment of health

CLIA is Federal Law -passed in 1992, amended in ’93, ’95, ’03.


Cold Rooms

Correctly referred to as Environmental Rooms


Ceiling Service Panel


Constant Volume HVAC System.  The exhaust volume (CFM)of a hood remains effectively the same as the sash opening is changed (up/down or left/right), hence the face velocity (FE) must change.  All chemical fume hoods should be installed with a face velocity alarm.  That can come from NYCOM or from a BA supplier.  Different from a VAV system, the BA suppliers device is not required as part of the HVAC system and therefore is often not scoped in their trade package.


Study of structure, function and chemistry of cells is known as cytology. It is a branch of biology which deals directly with the structural and functional organization of cells and also with the other phenomena such as metabolism, ontogenetic differentiation, heredity, and phylogeny.

·   cytology, targets the cellular level, but in histology, mainly examines the tissue architecture of a particular tissue.

·   The study of cellular structure and function is called cytology, while the study of cells and tissues in an organism is called histology.

·   The costs for histological studies are higher than cytology.

·   In cytology, it mainly aims the cells. Therefore, the cytological observations have excellent cellular details unlike in the histological observations.

·   Tissue details are present only in histology while details of tissue architecture cannot be observed in cytology.


Demountable Wall System

Architectural wall system that is designed, manufactured and intended to be moved or relocated.  This in opposition to fixed dry wall or “glass store front” or “glazing”.

Duct Velocity

speed of air moving through the duct, measured in (FPM)

Environmental Rooms

An enclosed room of varying size (in NCYOM’s world, typical is 10×10 or 10×20) very specifically controlled for temperature and often relative humidity. Typical temp range is +/- 1oC.  important consideration include floor, slab, ramp, location, surrounding ambient temp, the temp/rH “envelope”, location of the compressor, control/monitoring panel, redundancy.

Most often, these are colder than ambient air and hence they are (incorrectly) referred to as Cold Rooms.

The most common Environmental Room seen on our projects is a 4oC room used for stability testing or storage.

Exhaust Volume

The quantity of air exhausted by the fume hood; the volume of air passing through the duct measured in CFM to maintain a determined face velocity

Face Velocity

Speed of air moving into fume hood through the hoods face opening (sash), measured in (FPM)


Finished Edge


Fume Hood


Feet Per Minute; measurement of air velocity


Gas chromatograph mass spectrometers (GCMS) work with gaseous chemical compounds the same way liquid chromatography (LC) systems are to materials in solution: they separate and analyze gas-phase molecules.

Nycom’s interest:  ergonomic and easy access to the equipment, vibration/sensitivity, what level (purity) of gases are to be used, the number of differing gases (the mobile phase), house supplied gases, local tanks, or remote (outside the lab) tank farms, manifolds, etc.


The study of genes and their functions. It is interested in the structure of the genome, which carries all the genetic material, like a blueprint. Genomics studies how molecular mechanisms and genetic factors affect disease.

HEPA filter

HEPA filters are composed a mat of randomly arranged fibers. The fibers are typically composed of fiberglass and possess diameters between 0.5 and 2.0 micrometers. Key factors affecting its functions are fiber diameter, filter thickness, and face velocity. The air space between HEPA filter fibers is typically much greater than 0.3 μm. The common assumption that a HEPA filter acts like a sieve where particles smaller than the largest opening can pass through is incorrect and impractical. Unlike membrane filters at this pore size, where particles as wide as the largest opening or distance between fibers cannot pass in between them at all, HEPA filters are designed to target much smaller pollutants and particles. These particles are trapped (they stick to a fiber) through a combination of the following three mechanisms:


where particles following a line of flow in the air stream come within one radius of a fiber and adhere to it.


where larger particles are unable to avoid fibers by following the curving contours of the air stream and are forced to embed in one of them directly; this effect increases with diminishing fiber separation and higher air flow velocity.


an enhancing mechanism that is a result of the collision with gas molecules by the smallest particles, especially those below 0.1 µm in diameter, which are thereby impeded and delayed in their path through the filter; this behavior is similar to Brownian motion raises the probability that a particle will be stopped by either of the two mechanisms above; this mechanism becomes dominant at lower air flow velocities.



Histology is the study of the structure and function of microscopic anatomy of plants and animals. Microscopic anatomy includes the cells, tissues, organs and organ system of an organism. These studies are performed especially by examining cells and tissues.

First particular part of an organ is selected. Then staining is done followed by an examination under a light or electron microscope. Microscopes are the basic tools used in the histological studies. Histological stains are very important as they enhance the ability of visualizing and differentiating of microscopic structures.

·   cytology, targets the cellular level, but in histology, mainly examines the tissue architecture of a particular tissue.

·   The study of cellular structure and function is called cytology, while the study of cells and tissues in an organism is called histology.

·   The costs for histological studies are higher than cytology.

·   In cytology, it mainly aims the cells. Therefore, the cytological observations have excellent cellular details unlike in the histological observations.

·   Tissue details are present only in histology while details of tissue architecture cannot be observed in cytology.



Also, sometimes referred to as Cytopathology; the microscopic study of tissue samples of patients to detect diseases.


High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a form of liquid chromatography to separate compounds that are dissolved in solution. HPLC instruments consist of a reservoir of mobile phase, a pump, an injector, a separation column, and a detector.

Nycom’s interest:  ergonomic and easy access to the equipment stack, handling of the mobile phase (these can be 5 liter “beer kegs”, electrical demands, handling of waste products.





In lieu of



Typical lab piece of equipment that provides a constant temp (at a minimum) for the growth of some biological.  From our perspective, it is important to know if they are water jacketed (weight), CO2 (where to the gas tanks go) or stacked (leave appropriate floor space). 


A part of immunology, immunochemistry looks into the chemical detection of immune reactions.


he study of all aspects of the immune system and its components, including disorders.

In Vitro

 A procedure carried out outside a living organism.

In Vivo

A procedure carried out within a living organism.

Joint Commission (JC)

an independent agency that accredits hospitals and large health care facilities


Knee Space

Laminar Flow Hood

Technically, a laminar flow hood is an enclosure with a uniform air flow – vertically or horizontally and either in or out, depending on whether the intent is to protect the user or the sample/product.  Many people incorrectly refer to a Biosafety Cabinet as a “laminar flow hood”.  For while a BSC does use laminar flow for protection of the work area, it also includes air flow patterns that protect the user.  You could think of it as a LFH “plus” Enclosure.


Liquid chromatography (LC) is an analytical chromatographic technique useful for separating ions or molecules that are dissolved in a solvent.  A mobile phase (solvent) carries the sample through a solid phase (silica) creating the separation over time dependent on the chemical properties of the ions/molecules.

Nycom’s interest:  there are multiple types of LC analysis in the lab – flash chromatography, SPE, thin plate chromatography, etc.   Do they require work in a fume hood (the answer is more and more often yes), refrigeration (cold room or refrigerator), snorkels?


Linear Foot

Lumber Core Plywood

Plywood panel with solid lumber (staved lumber) as the core materials.


Microarrays consist of many probes attached chemically to a substrate with a very small surface. This surface could be a glass slide or a microchip. Each probe, which holds genetic information, can detect many different genes at the same time. Microarrays can be used to assist in the detection of genetic variations.


the study of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites.



Mod Wall

In NYCOM’s world, a custom made stainless steel wall fitted to a project’s in wall autoclave(s) & washer(s).  The wall’s design can include a bio seal or an air differential seal.  It is critical for NYCOM to understand if these requirements are included in the project.  Prevention of air flow between the clean and dirty side of equipment is of the utmost importance. 

Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology is the study of biology on a molecular level. It examines the structure and function of biologically important molecules within an organism in order to study viruses. It also encompasses biochemistry and genetics.


Navisworks (known for a while as JetStream) is a 3D design review package from Autodesk.

Used primarily in construction industries to complement 3D design packages (such as Revit®) Navisworks allows users to open and combine 3D models, navigate around them in real-time and review the model using a set of tools including comments, redlining, viewpoint, and measurements. A selection of plug-ins enhances the package adding interference detection, 4D time simulation, photorealistic rendering and PDF-like publishing.

In NYCOM’s world, Navisworks primary function is “clash detection”



Not in Contract

Notice to Proceed, usually given prior to contract issuance.  It is an official commitment by the customer or CM/GC.


Owner Furnished – Contractor Installed


Owner Furnished – Owner Installed


Overhead Service Carrier


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known by its acronym OSHA, is responsible for protecting worker health and safety in the United States

Particle Board Core Plywood

Plywood panel with particle board as the core materials — M2 and M3 are the most common in our industry.


Per AWS: a core material with at least two face veneers creating a 3 ply panel.


Quick Connect


Reflective Ceiling Plan


Autodesk Revit is building information modeling software for architects, structural engineers, MEP Engineers, designers and contractors developed by Autodesk. It allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model’s database. Revit is 4D BIM capable with tools to plan and track various stages in the building’s lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition.

RIFT® (Nycom CAD):

Right information the first time

Room Data Sheets

Single or multiple page programming summaries by room or area including all the specifics of the space: electrical, data, finishes, equipment, use, occupancy, etc.  In the case of Lab Planners, the RDSs often include a floor plan of the space.


Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association composed of casework manufacturers, architects and consultants of the industry.  All significant lab casework manufacturers belong to SEFA.  SEFA also sets the quality standards to which lab casework is manufactured; example – SEFA 8 for finishes.  Basically, SEFA is lab casework what AWS is to millwork.  However, the latter covers literally thousands of manufacturers from 400k ft2 companies like Stevens or “Mom and Pop” shops in the garages; hence they AWS is more extensive in their standards.


Square Foot


Square Edge


Stainless Steel


Solid Surface Material – the material type for brand names such as Corian, Avonite, Staron, Mystera, Formica Solid Surfaces.  These are man-made products, not natural stone products.

Stages of Design Documents

Design Narrative    overall concept in presentation form of a project including how the facility will fulfill the needs that the customer has laid out.  Though very complete in the areas it covers, any individual section/trade will not be deeply defined except where the customer has given specific requirements: Trane Air Handlers or Lead Gold building or Honeywell BAS, etc.  Overall site plane and maybe some “sketches” are included, but no real drawings.

Programming      (not really a drawing stage per se) when the design team is gathering basic information on what verifies/refines conceptual needs and details of specific areas – as in room data sheets.

Schematic Drawings  (SDs) basic conceptual floor plans showing adjacencies, interconnections and flow between areas/departments.   Often, the lab areas may have more detail given, epically if a Lab Planner is involved.

Design Development       (DDs)  define and describe all the important aspects of the facility.  In particular, in this phase the MEP Systems are developed and detailed.  A decent project budget can be based on DDs.  Normally, DDs will be represented as 50%, 75%, 100% DDs.

Construction Documents    (CDs)  a fully buildable set of documents for a facility.  Normally indicated as 50%, 75%, 100%

Conforming Set   definitely not used in most projects.  However, some projects are so confused via addenda – VEs – RFIs – post bid clarifications, etc., that a “conforming set of documents are issued”.

As Builts              requested on a number of projects, “As Builts” reflect exactly what was installed vs. what was shown on the Construction Documents.  This includes info from Change Orders and Filed Directives.




Supercritical Fluid Chromatography 

(SFC) is a form of normal phase chromatography that is used for the analysis and purification of low to moderate molecular weight, thermally labile molecules. It can also be used for the separation of chiral compounds. Principles are similar to those HPLC, however SFC typically utilizes carbon dioxide as the mobile phase; therefore, the entire chromatographic flow path must be pressurized. Because the supercritical phase represents a state in which liquid and gas properties converge, supercritical fluid chromatography is sometimes called “convergence chromatography.”

It is the use of CO2 that is of importance for lab planning – how will the CO2 be supplied to the equipment, house systems or tanks.


Above: supercritical fluid chromatography system / single quadrupole / mass detector / PDA.  The point?  Ask to see the equipment or cut sheet – is it bench mounted, floor mounted, mobile, fixed, weight, etc.

Translational Research

Hospital/Research Facility where development of drugs are taken directly application with patients.  In recent years there is a focus on developing treatments specifically for individual patients.  There is also an ongoing effort to involve the patient in the research labs and hence HIPA can be a new issue in the lab design.

See Reference articles.




The ultracentrifuge is a centrifuge optimized for spinning a rotor at very high speeds, capable of generating acceleration as high as 1 000 000 g (approx. 9 800 km/s²).  There are two kinds of ultracentrifuges: preparative and analytical ultracentrifuge. Both classes of instruments find important uses in molecular biology, biochemistry and polymer science.

Unitized Wall System



Unless noted Otherwise


Variable Air Volume HVAC system.  The exhaust CFM of a hood is adjusted as the sash opening changes (up/down or left/right) effectively keeping the face velocity (FV) the same.  The total room air supply is adjusted by the building automation system (BA) as changes to the hoods CFMs are made.  To affect these changes, the BA system must be supplied by the HVAC contractor as part of their system, and that system will have a readout showing the face velocity of the hood. 

Therefore, NYCOM tries not to supply an additional face velocity alarm in this design.

Veneer Core Plywood

Plywood panel with wood veneers as the core materials – 7 ply, 9 ply, 13 ply are all common in our industry.


The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.”  As in, how does a teacher/professor teach what they teach?  What are the physical constraints required or implied by those methods/concepts.  “The school’s pedological approach to cross connecting as many disciplines as possible to the science experiments envisions a very flexible and open space” (real quote).  If you are successful enough to get yourself involve in the programming stage of a teaching lab, you will most definitely hear this term.


Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  In the United States, the acronym is used in education debates in initiatives to begin to address the perceived lack of (some maintain evidence supports) qualified candidates for high-tech jobs. It also addresses concern that the subjects are often taught in isolation, instead of as an integrated curriculum.

Recently, “arts” have been added back into the focused study of the sciences, so many people are using the term STEAM and adding space for that discipline interacting with the other 4 that were originally broken out and targeted. 

Maker Space

Physical location where people – students – gather to share resources and knowledge, focused on working on projects, networks and build.  Industrial tools, 3D printers, computers, white boards – FLEXIBLE. 

Convergence Science

A concept of diverse disciplines to work on common problems – engineering, physical sciences (and/or others) joining forces with life sciences: 

While convergence sounds like just another interdisciplinary mash-up, it may prove to challenge traditional scientific categories, according to several panelists at a forum convened by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Convergence is more than simply bringing together experts in two or more disciplines to swap insights; it is an exchange of mindsets. “Fundamentally different approaches from physical science and engineering are imported into biological research, while life science’s understanding of complex evolutionary systems is reciprocally influencing physical science and engineering,” say the authors of an MIT White paper, “The Third Revolution: The Convergence of the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering,” released Tuesday. “Convergence is the result of true intellectual cross-pollination.”

So, if your client is a proponent of the term, do not discount it as just another name for the same concept.


Ultra-High Pressure Liquid Chromatography:  the most current general consensus is for the term to be reserved for HPLC systems using pressures >15,000 PSI.  (traditional HPLC being run around 3,000-5,000 PSI.  “Proof of Concept” was first published by Professor James Jorgenson of UNC Chapel Hill in 1997.  UHPLC requires different stationary phases (smaller silica sizes), pumps capable of producing the higher pressures, autosamplers capable of handling the higher pressures and detectors that are faster. 

There is no impact on lab design that NCYOM needs to be aware of specific to UHPLC technologies.

Fume Hood Terms

Access opening       part of the fume hood or glove box through which work is performed.

ACGIH                      American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists

 Air foil                      curved or angular member at front of hood designed to reduce air turbulence.

Air volume               quantity of air normally expressed in cubic feet per minute (cfm).

Anemometer            instrument for measuring low air velocities.

ASHRAE                   American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers

Auxiliary air              air delivered directly to fume hood to reduce room air consumption — sometimes called supply or supplemental air.

 Baffle                       panel or panels located at rear of the hood interior which aid in distributing the flow pattern of air into and through the hood.

By-pass hood           hood which contains a by-pass and, usually, air foils — also called a constant volume hood.

CFM                         Cubic Feet per Minute — unit of air volume measurement.

Cross draft               a flow of air that blows into or across the hood face.

Damper                    device installed in duct to control air volume — can either be pneumatically, electrically, or manually operated.

Differential Pressure difference in static pressure between two locations.

Duct                         round, square or rectangular tube used to enclose moving air.

Duct velocity            speed of air moving in duct (measured in FPM).

 Dynamic barrier bypass         a louvered front-to-back by-pass system located above the top sash that introduces by-pass air behind the operating sash plane to provide a buffer zone between the contaminated hood interior and the hood operator.

Face                         front opening of hood through which the user works.

Face velocity            speed of air moving into fume hood at face opening usually expressed in units of feet per minute.

Fan                          air moving device consisting of a motor, impeller and housing – sometimes called a blower.

FPM                         Feet Per Minute – measurement of air velocity.

Fume hood               a ventilated, enclosed work space, with an open front, intended to capture, contain and exhaust airborne contaminants generated within it — also called a laboratory hood.

LEV Hood                 Low Exhaust Volume Hood – sometimes called a high performance fume hood, are energy efficient fume hoods that contain when tested at 60 FPM or less with a sash full open.

Liner                        material used in the interior of the hood which is exposed to contaminants.

Louvered panel        a panel with louvers to allow by-pass air to enter the hood when the sash is closed.

Make-up air              free or available air needed to permit fume hood to develop face velocity.

 Manometer               device used to measure air pressure differential — usually calibrated in inches of water.

 Negative Pressure    pressures lower than atmospheric pressure. (Less than one atmosphere.)

NFPA                       National Fire Protection Association

 OSHA                       Occupational Safety and Health Administration Government organization created to assure safe and healthful working conditions.

Perchloric Acid        a colorless, syrupy hygroscopic liquid, HClO4, used chiefly as a reagent in analytical chemistry. Explosively unstable when crystallize or when in contact with combustible materials at elevated temperatures.

Pitot tube                 device for measuring velocity of air in a duct.

Positive pressure     pressures higher than atmospheric pressure. (More than one atmosphere.)

Restricted by-pass fume hood                basic type of hood design with limited by-pass area. Commonly used in conjunction with “VAV” Variable Air Volume controls.

Safety shield            horizontal sliding transparent panel at face of hood which the user places in front of his body to protect himself from small explosions inside of hood.

Sash                        movable panel set in hood face, usually transparent and can be either vertical rising or horizontal sliding.

SEFA                       Scientific Equipment & Furniture Association – an association founded to promote the scientific equipment and furniture industry and to improve the quality, safety and timely completion of laboratory facilities in accordance with customer requirements.

Side Walls (or End walls)               The area between the interior hood liner, and the exterior end panel. (4″ nominal dimension)

Smoke candle          device producing large quantities of smoke for testing hoods — also called smoke bomb.

Static pressure air pressure exerted perpendicular to the direction of flow, usually expressed in units of inches of water.


Superstructure         part of hood assembly that excludes work top, base cabinets, auxiliary air chamber, and plumbing and electrical fixtures.

Supplemental (supply) air               air delivered directly to fume hood to reduce room air consumption — also called auxiliary air.

UFC                          Unified Facilities Criteria – a government program that unifies all technical criteria and standards pertaining to planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of real property facilities.

V-Belt Drive Fan        fan on which the motor is connected to the impeller wheel via, a v-belt, sheaves, and an impeller wheel shaft. Allows the impeller wheel speed to be varied by using a adjustable motor sheave.

Variable Air volume (VAV)                       type of fume hood that utilizes controller to maintain constant face velocity by adjusting blower motor speed or balance damper in response to changes in sash position.

Velocity                    speed of air — measured in feet per minute.

Vertical Bypass        An air management panel located within the hood structure designed to introduce air behind the operating sash plane to provide a buffer zone between the contaminated hood interior  and the operator. Vertical bypasses are specifically designed for LEV hood use within a VAV system.

Walk-in hood            floor-mounted, full height hood designed to accommodate tall apparatus and permit roll-in of instruments and equipment.