Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, Multiphase Laboratory, Office, and Museum Renovations

  • Project Type:Multiphase Laboratory, Office, and Museum Renovations
  • Owner:Harvard University
  • Location:Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Architect:Stantec/Burt Hill (lab) & Perry and Radford Architects (5th floor)
  • Engineer:BR+A (office) & Various (5th floor)
  • Project Dates:Summer 2001- 2012 (lab) & Spring-Fall 2015 (5th floor)

Phases one through three of this multiphase renovation project focused on the relocation of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ). Working within an occupied space, DCBA converted an open area into new LEED laboratory, classroom, storage, and collections spaces. Commissioning for the newly installed equipment was critical. The new MCZ space was in a building that was constructed in the 1800s using a combination masonry/timber system and needed significant MEP upgrades (including a new fire protection system and stand pipe for the attic) to bring it up to code. On the 5th Floor, DCBA expanded the MEP infrastructure, revised the floor layout, and completed the fit-out of a new office space. This work was done next to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Ernst Mayr Libraries, both of which could not be impacted by construction. Structural modifications that were made to create open office and conference room spaces involved rigging new structural steel members through windows around the building, which is situated on a busy university campus. Architectural finishes included acoustic plaster ceilings, custom glass storefront systems, intricate millwork details, and new flooring, paint, and fixtures. DCBA collaborated with facilities, end users, and building occupants throughout construction to fine tune logistics, schedule, and coordinate access with minimal disruption. Due to the building’s age, workers took great care to protect structures and architectural elements.