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The Library of Life.

Few building projects can adequately make the claim of revolutionizing a space, or mankind for that matter. However, the teams behind the new Bridging the Rift Center (BTR) are working towards that very goal. Scheduled to open in 2007, BTR will be home to one of the world's most ambitious research projects ever undertaken in creating the Library of Life, a database of every living thing on Earth.

The project is being driven by the BTR Foundation, scientists at Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y., and Stanford Univ., Calif., along with architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), New York, N.Y. The planned 150-acre site will straddle an area once part of the Israeli/Jordanian border (both governments have removed any claim to this locale specifically for the project). Due to the desert conditions, architects will give the buildings a north-south orientation and renewable energy sources such as solar cells to generate power.

"Bridging the Rift will be somewhat self-sufficient," says lead architect Mustafa Abadan of SOM. "It will produce some of its own power from photovoltaic panels mounted on its laboratory roofs, supplementing the electrical power brought in from Jordan and Israel. Large water reserves and aquifers deep in the ground below the facility will supply all the water needed." The facility also will include computer modeling laboratories, planting fields dedicated to life science studies, and living quarters.

Once construction is complete, scientists will begin the massive data collection, with the Dead Sea as its first area of study.

Cornell Univ.

607-254-INFO, www.cornell.edu

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Title Annotation:Laboratory Design
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jun 1, 2004
Words:256
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