Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory

Rebuilding from devastation

State of Vermont
Randolph, Vermont, United States
30,000 square feet

Imagine you’re a researcher and your life’s work is swept away in moments—all destroyed in a natural disaster of such magnitude that statistically should only happen once every 500 years.

That’s exactly what happened to the team of dedicated researchers who work at the Vermont Agricultural and Environmental Laboratory (VAEL) when Tropical Storm Irene hit their small town of Waterbury, VT in 2011. Within minutes, hundreds of gallons of water rushed into their facility. There was little the researchers could do but salvage whatever they could, carry on with their work, and begin to rebuild.

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We partnered with VAEL to design a new home for specialized research focused on bettering the lives of Vermont residents.
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Researchers enjoy light-filled workspaces.
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The atrium features unique lighting and an opportunity to display artwork from local artists.

The VAEL is a unique group of purpose-driven scientists—all of whom work to monitor, report and protect countless aspects of Vermont’s natural environment. Their meticulous research translates directly to the health and well-being of the state’s residents. After spending years in temporary, disparate labs, VAEL and our design team created a standout facility that sets a new standard of operational and material sustainability for the state of Vermont.

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Break rooms and collaboration areas abound throughout the building.
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The first-floor conference room acts as a flexible space for team meetings and events.

The new building, located high on a rolling hillside on Vermont Technical College’s campus, safe from future flooding events, supports a myriad of different functions, including chemistry testing labs, a weights and measures unit, an animal pathology lab that includes a necropsy suite, a forest biology unit that houses an extensive specimen collection, a biology area with a BSL 2+ lab and numerous testing labs. Researchers now have a space to grow, experiment and thrive—continuing their work to protect and improve the lives of Vermont residents.

Vermont Agriculture & Environmental Laboratory
Vermont Agriculture & Environmental Laboratory