Biomedical research engineering centre opens at McMaster

A centre for advanced research focused on the fast-emerging cell therapies industry opened this week at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario. The Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) is an innovation centre at the crossroads of life sciences, medicine and engineering.

Diamond Schmitt Architects repurposed 20,000-square-feet within an existing warehouse facility on the MIP campus to accommodate office, research and manufacturing facilities. An additional 20,000-square-feet on the second floor will have future laboratories and administration. The project is a partnership between McMaster University and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI of Germany.McMaster University, Hamiliton, BEAM, Fraunhofer, Diamond Schmitt

The $33-million facility 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, Diamond Schmitt Architects. “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 extends to the interior design concept for the showroom, a flexible and reconfigurable space to showcase the development of products, devices and tools.

McMaster University, Hamiliton, BEAM, Fraunhofer, Diamond Schmitt
Reception Area. Image via Diamond Schmitt Architects.

“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,” said Frank Emmrick, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI.

In keeping with the mandate of McMaster Innovation Park to attain minimum LEED Silver for all its buildings, the design for BEAM incorporates numerous sustainable design initiatives, including non-toxic products; green construction measures; indoor air quality; recycled content; efficient lighting; reduced water usage; and daylight views.

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

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