Planning team in the Q-Lab

New “Q Lab” Technology Center Goes Live

Published on August 24th, 2009

Centerbrook Architects has recently launched a state-of-the-art, hi-tech collaboration center at its offices to better integrate the architectural design process with the construction process. Employing the latest 3-D, giant-screen computer and design technologies, the “Q Lab” (the “Q “stands for Quality) brings architects, clients, contractors, engineers, and consultants together at critical points, beginning early on in the design process.

The Q Lab’s five-screen, multi-mode, high-resolution system can display inputs from five computers simultaneously, allowing participants to collectively review three-dimensional architectural drawings, integrate code requirements and client requests, create and test energy and cost models, and fine tune Building Information Models (BIM).

Project teams can review a virtual structure using systems such as Revit, Navisworks, Green Building Studio, and other BIM tools side-by-side to resolve conflicts between multiple building systems before construction begins. This integrated design process, which is facilitated by the Q Lab and includes Centerbrook’s Quality Assurance Program, helps to reduce delays and costly changes during construction.

“In addition to improving communications and accountability, the Q Lab experience gives all participants in a project a true sense of ownership of the building’s design from the outset,” said Jim Coan, Centerbrook’s Director of Architectural Practice and Science. “It will fundamentally change the relationship between architects, engineers, clients, and contractors and minimize conflicts and change orders during construction,” added Coan, AIA and LEED AP, who oversees the Q Lab.

Q-Zone Light TableOpened in August, 2009 the Q Lab has already been used on a number of Centerbrook projects, such as the York Hill Campus for Quinnipiac University, an expansion of the Eugene O’Neill Theater, and the Bellarmine Museum at Fairfield University.

Centerbrook’s Quality Assurance Program, which is administered from the Q Lab, features a light table for reviewing overlaid drawings, research work stations, and a building code and resources library. The Q Lab advances the firm’s 34-year commitment to design innovation and quality.