Harvard Medical School

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center for Structural Biology

Project at a Glance

Boston, MA


e4h architecture

Project Type


Project Overview

  • Creation of precisely controlled environments to house four highly sensitive Cryo-Electron Microscopes (Cryo-EM)
  • Managed invasive construction activities around an occupied research lab
  • Utilized off-hours work and carefully coordinated shutdowns to ensure lab activities remained undisturbed during construction

Harvard Medical School’s Seeley G. Mudd Building, located in the heart of Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, underwent a basement-level renovation to accommodate the installation of four new Cryo-Electron Microscopes. These highly sensitive microscopes are becoming increasingly popular in the study of structural biology, as they allow researchers to observe samples at cryogenic temperatures in their unaltered, native environments. Harvard’s Cryo-EM installation is the second of its kind in Massachusetts; Consigli also installed the first in the state at UMass Medical School in Worcester.

To accommodate these four large pieces of research equipment, structural and M/E/P modifications to the Mudd Building were required. Our team oversaw the excavation of the basement-level space, the underpinning of existing exterior walls and interior columns and the integration of a new floor slab. Additionally, new M/E/Ps and a complex eight-layer wall system were installed, to ensure the microscopes are encased in a precisely controlled environment, free from vibration and climate impacts. All work was managed around a highly sensitive research facility and active laboratory, requiring advanced levels of coordination, communication and construction mitigation.