2014 AIA / SWO Citation Award

University of Oregon Zebrafish Core Facility

2014 AIA / SWO Citation Award

LEED Gold Certified


The University of Oregon approached Rowell Brokaw Architects in 2008 to help the facility develop a Master Plan to accommodate the increasing needs of their research involving zebrafish. Rowell Brokaw Architects led the user group through a series of programming exercises to define the specific requirements of the facility’s spaces.

The UO and this lab are recognized as pioneers in Zebrafish research for genetics and neuroscience. Rowell Brokaw Architects is leading this complex remodel and expansion to the main UO Zebrafish facility, and also provided architectural planning and systems design that was instrumental in obtaining the National Institutes of Health C06 grant awarded to fund the project.

The humid, warm aquatic environment introduces complex building systems requirements that make this one of the most complex laboratory types, in this case located in a most constrained condition under an existing large laboratory building. Rowell Brokaw Architects is leading the design of the building shell alteration and expansion, coordinating MEP systems, leading the integration of aquatic support systems and designing the interior, including procedure rooms, lab support and equipment wash rooms.

The project completely re-organizes lab workflow to enhance fish health and significantly increases capacity for fish husbandry and research procedures. To meet the increased load of a much larger facility, it introduces a sterile washing system that brings the lab to federal standards, including proper staging, intake dirty-side wash separate from a clean side wash with negative air pressure on the dirty side, and well-coordinated storage for sterile equipment. Aquatic fish facilities consume large amounts of water and energy. A key goal is to complete this expansion with no net increase in water or energy use. The project will meet state SEED standards and must achieve LEED certification.


2014 AIA / SWO Design Awards Submission

2013 International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) Conference Presentation

2012 NIH Conference "Aquatic Research and the Flow of Energy" Presentation Poster