Biomedical research centre now open in Hamilton

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A state-of-the-art centre for advanced research on the fast-emerging cell therapies industries recently opened at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ont. The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) is an innovation centre with the intersecting focus of life sciences, medicine and engineering.

To create BEAM, Diamond Schmitt Architects repurposed 20,000 square feet of an existing warehouse facility on the McMaster Innovation Park campus to create office, research and manufacturing facilities. An additional 20,000 square feet on the second floor of the building will feature laboratories and administration. The project is a partnership between McMaster University and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI of Germany.

The $33-million project will develop novel cell manufacturing systems related to cell therapy and immunology and develop technologies for eye care, point-of-care medical devices and cancer treatments.

“A flexible modular approach defines the layout and planning of the Containment Level 2 Laboratory Zones,” said John Featherstone, principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects, in a press release. “Open concept island benches with top down servicing achieve the maximum amount of serviceable floor space for equipment and benching while maintaining safe distances between facing work areas for circulation.”

The design approach of shared resources among groups inspired the interior design concept for the showroom, a flexible and reconfigurable space to showcase the development of products, devices and tools.

“The new facilities will ensure BEAM scientists have the infrastructure required to move their research on biomaterials, diagnostics and cell therapies into market-ready technologies,” added Frank Emmrick, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI.

BEAM’s design is targeting LEED Silver certification by featuring several sustainable design initiatives, including non-toxic products, green construction measures, indoor air quality, recycled content, efficient lighting, reduced water usage and daylight views. McMaster Innovation Park has a mandate in place to attain minimum LEED Silver certification for all its buildings.

Diamond Schmitt also designed CanmetMATERIALS, a research centre for fabricating, processing and evaluating metals and materials, which is located adjacent to BEAM. CanmetMATERIALS achieved LEED Platinum certification.

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