Building Location And Design
The Singh Center for Nanotechnology is on Penn's campus in Philadelphia's University City neighborhood. The building is located on the north side of the 3200 block of Walnut Street and is physically connected to the Laboratory for Research into the Structure of Matter (LRSM), which houses Penn's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), several research groups, facilities, and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Researchers in Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Materials Science, Electrical and Systems Engineering, Medicine, Physics and Astronomy, Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Biology are all within seven square blocks of the Center.
The Penn campus is adjacent to Philadelphia's Amtrak and SEPTA Regional Rail Station, and is a 15-minute drive from the Philadelphia International Airport, making the building easily accessible to users beyond the Penn campus.
The greater Philadelphia region is a major hub of academic research. Penn is immediately adjacent to Drexel University and a series of well-established collaborations between Penn and Drexel exist, including Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in Nanoscale Science & Engineering and the Research Experiences for Teachers in Nanotechnology. Ten other universities in the region participate in the Nanotechnology Institute, which is described further in Industry Interactions.
The lead architectural firm for the building is Weiss/Manfredi, which has strong experience managing projects for academic institutions and orchestrating the efforts of a team of highly qualified consultants. Their design team includes M+W Group, which brings ninety-five years of experience designing technologically advanced facilities, including cleanroom design, process tools consulting, laboratory design, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection. Other participants on the team include VitaTech Engineering for electromagnetic interference, Colin Gordon & Associates for vibration isolation, Severud Associates for Structural Engineering, Stantec for Civil Engineering/Site Design, Viridian as the green building consultant and Davis Langdon as the cost estimator.
In addition to the laboratory spaces, the building features a courtyard, public galleria, a forum space and high-profile conference rooms. The building is targeting LEED Silver Certification, a "green" building program for energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. These efforts will include a "green roof" to capture 90 percent of storm water runoff, the diversion of construction waste from landfills and the optimization of the building's energy performance to at least 17.5 percent beyond industry requirements.