Davis Moreno Construction
The Claude Laval Water and Energy Technology Incubator, known as the WET Lab, combines a business incubator and research lab with a state-of-the-art hydraulic test facility, a unique asset in a university setting. The facility allows university personnel to perform and monetize independent testing and certification for pumps and other flow technology equipment, in addition to graduate-level research. The businesses incubator component of the facility focuses on start-ups that specialize in water, irrigation, and clean-energy products and services at the flourishing intersection of academia and commerce.
Additionally, a roof mounted photovoltaic array is used as a communication and outreach tool for farmers in remote settings to demonstrate dependable reliance on solar systems to power water wells and reduce the need for diesel generators or the high cost of electrification.
Located in the heart of the University Farm and at the eastern gateway to the campus, the building has become a campus icon. As a salute to the agrarian nature of the surrounding context, the “architecture of agriculture” was celebrated in the forms, massing, and materials of the building. The test facility is housed in a metal clad “barn-like” structure while the incubator and administrative functions are located in a sweeping dynamic form that rises and opens toward the main campus emphasizing the strong connection between the WET Lab and the university.