University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine & Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

New Bolton Center's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Feasibility Study

The New Bolton Center specializes in veterinary care of large animals including horses, food animals and small ruminants. The Center required an update to its 2007 campus master plan to align with the current and future missions. To support this effort, HERA provided programming services for two entities.

  • Widener Hospital – The large animal hospital sees more than 5,300 patients a year and includes a surgery suite, imaging, pharmacy, inpatient clinical treatment, sports medicine treatment and supporting office functions; 34,500 GSF.
  • Equine Pharmacology Research Laboratory Barn – 12-stall barn with laboratory and indoor treadmill to support pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and exercise physiology studies; 7,600 building GSF plus additional exterior support functions for paddocks, manure pit, hay shed, etc.

The original 2007 master plan identified a need to consolidate research and diagnostic activities currently scattered across two campuses into a new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory building to serve Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (PETRL) and Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS). The team developed a feasibility study to validate, challenge and update the program, test three site locations, test building concept design options and provided a construction cost estimate. HERA worked with users to identify current and future lab needs, flows and adjacencies to develop a program, flow diagrams and building blocking and stacking diagrams.

The new facility will consolidate laboratory services into modern, appropriately sized spaces to support a wide range of research and testing needs including large animal pathology, toxicology, serology, microbiology, egg quality assurance, necropsy, molecular diagnostics, molecular biology research and equine drug testing. Special laboratory spaces will include BSL2 labs; BSL3 lab suite; PCR molecular suite; necropsy suite for large animals, avian and aquaculture; and specialty lab for a fleet of 21 mass spectrometers.


Kennet Square, Pennsylvania


67,000 GSF


Existing laboratory facility assessments, programing, concept planning support


SMP Architects