Canadian Consulting Engineer

Biomedical research centre opens in Hamilton

March 8, 2018

The $33-million Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, consulting engineers included WSP and Integral.


Rendering of the new BEAM facility at McMaster Innovation Park (Diamond Schmitt Architects)

A new centre for advanced research focused on cell therapies has opened at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) in Hamilton, a partnership between McMaster University and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI of Germany.

The $33-million Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) 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.

Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects repurposed 20,000-sq. ft. within an existing warehouse facility on the MIP campus to accommodate office, research and manufacturing facilities. An additional 20,000-sq. ft. on the second floor will have future laboratories and administration.

“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 mechanical and electrical engineering consultant on the project was Integral.

“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 MIP 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. WSP is the consulting engineer for structural, envelope and energy modelling on the project.


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