The Laboratory of the Half Century (aka LAB2050) is an initiative SmithGroup embarked on to dig deep into the scientific trends, new technologies and economics that will shape the design concepts of research laboratory environments in the coming decades. To study these challenges, the initiative was divided into six sub-categories focused on common themes often discussed in today’s research environment. Those were technology; collaboration that innovates; synergy; funding and partnerships; energy and sustainability; and planning and design.
As we explored these themes and consolidated the findings of our collaborations, ten key takeaways were determined, which are outlined in the attached paper. Although we anticipate that they will change and flux over time, we continue to plan and design 40 to 60 year buildings on a daily basis. This makes it important to constantly consider how advanced facility design will respond to the future technological and user needs outlined in our findings.