UMass Lowell Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center

University of Massachusetts Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center

UMass Lowell Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center

In developing the first new academic building on its campus in over 30 years, the University of Massachusetts Lowell looked to the past to inspire the future. HDR’s team designed the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center in a way that highlighted Lowell’s historical significance as a center of textile manufacturing, while delivering a building that spurs research and innovation in 21st century life sciences and manufacturing. 

The building is home to both a graduate level research program in nanotechnology and the Raytheon Research Institute. Engaged in joint research projects and awarded “Innovation Accelerator” status by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, this co-habitation of academia and industry offers students experience in fast developing fields with growing career prospects and promising industry partnerships. Studies within the ETIC include nanomedicine, nanomanufacturing, plastics and elastomers, biomaterials, clean film technologies, pharmacogenomics and nanopharmaceuticals. The facility is designed to spawn new industries, particularly in nanomanufacturing, while also providing a springboard for life sciences companies and the academic research collaboration that comes with them.

A Launchpad for Innovation and Collaboration

The first major company to step forward and partner with UMass Lowell is Raytheon, through formation of the Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute focused on advancement of innovative technologies in the ETIC. The Institute features state-of-the-art laboratories that serve as a hub for collaboration in the pursuit of research and federal funding. Many other businesses, academic institutions, and startups have also taken advantage of the platform for collaboration provided by the ETIC.

The co-directed and co-located RURI research environment leverages UMass Lowell’s strength in printed electronics and nanotechnology that align with Raytheon’s strategic technology needs. Students and Raytheon employees work together to advance research and learning of technologies under development, giving students a true hands-on, real-world learning experience.

Design Honoring Past and Present

The ETIC was designed as an L-shaped cornerstone building with a long narrow bar that houses labs and offices, and a wider, shorter block containing nanomanufacturing and cleanroom spaces. Care was taken to ensure high bay lab spaces were exposed to daylight, and collaboration spaces provided views to the outdoors.

The building edge forms a new science quad, while the east façade entrance creates a terminus for an axis on campus. The ETIC creates a gateway to the north campus with its highly visible public façade that features internally illuminated programmable LED lights at night. The cleanroom features a translucent milk-glass curtain wall, designed to call attention to transformative research taking place inside, while the main building massing and materials reflect Lowell’s mill town history.

The ETIC incorporates common-sense low-to-no-cost sustainable strategies and an innovative HVAC system. Dual energy-wheels provide temperature-neutral air, while heating and cooling are accomplished with active chilled beams and fan coil units. This design should reduce annual energy costs by approximately 38% below the ASHRAE baseline model. The project achieved LEED Gold certification.

University of Massachusetts Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center
University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lowell, MA
United States

84,000 sf (7,800 m²)