Simulating Mother Nature

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) Aquaculture Restoration Ecology Laboratory at Horn Point in Cambridge, Md., is a 62,800-square-foot, $25 million building dedicated to developing environmentally sustainable strategies to restore coastal environments such as Chesapeake Bay.

The design unites three separate facilities under one roof to reduce maintenance costs and improve water quality. The lab helps the UMCES maintain its standing as one of the nation's top environmental-science programs by providing a facility that operates efficiently, and is equipped for research and education. The plan consolidates the research activities that placed the greatest demands on the seawater system.

To provide the UMCES with the most comprehensive research space possible, the architect equipped the facility with capabilities for natural salt- and fresh-water supply, and climate controls that can simulate any season of the year. With more than six miles of aquaculture piping throughout the building, and one of the largest quarantine laboratories on the East Coast, the new building provides space for the aquaculture program, including oyster culture and finfish hatcheries and laboratories, algae-growth facilities, research laboratories, the nutrient chemistry/water quality program, and the submerged aquatic vegetation and salt marsh restoration ecology program.

The architect for this project is DMJM Design (Washington, D.C.).

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