BAR HARBOR, Maine — The two leading biomedical research laboratories on Mount Desert Island each struck “gold” this week, one for environmental achievement and the other for its employee health promotion programs.

MDI Biological Laboratory has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its new laboratory building. The Jackson Laboratory, meanwhile, has been recognized as a Gold Level Well Workplace by the Wellness Council of America, according to the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce. The honors were announced separately on Thursday.

MDI Bio Lab’s new three-story, $7 million building, which was completed last year, has 15,000 square feet of space and houses two research centers, offices, a library and a training laboratory. It was designed by WBRC Architects and Engineers and constructed by Nickerson & O’Day, both of Bangor.

The building’s construction includes sustainably harvested materials and was designed to be energy-efficient, to minimize site disturbance and construction waste and to provide employees with a healthful work environment, according to a prepared statement released by MDI Bio Lab. The building is the first LEED Gold Certified wet-bench laboratory in Maine.

“MDIBL has always had a strong connection with the environment, both through its research and its beautiful location in Salisbury Cove,” Kevin Strange, MDI Bio Lab’s new director, said in the statement. “We are honored to have been recognized at such a level by USGBC and pleased to be leading the way for green laboratory design in Maine.”

Jackson Lab, according to Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, is one of only a handful of Maine employers to be recognized as a Gold Level Well Workplace. The award recognizes employers that have established work site wellness programs and realized tangible results in behavioral change, productivity, cost effectiveness and return on investment, the Chamber indicated in a separate prepared statement.

Thirteen other Maine employers have received the same wellness recognition, including Brewer Automotive Components, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Maine School Administrative District 22, and the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center.


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Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....