Rutgers University broke ground on the $84 million Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering in May of 2016. The 105,000-sf facility represents the first phase of a planned engineering complex and will act as a gateway to the Busch campus in Piscataway, N.J. Designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative, the interdisciplinary teaching and research building will provide smart classrooms, wet and dry labs, a cleanroom, a high bay lab, offices, conference rooms, interaction space, and a team-based learning (TBL) lecture hall. Housing the New Jersey Advanced Manufacturing Institute (NJAMI), the facility will feature a concept lab, a manufacturing pilot lab, a rapid prototyping lab, an energy lab, a microfabrication lab, and a combined automation/sensing/control manufacturing lab to support aerospace, robotics, and mechatronics research. The collaborative project will also house research space for the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering that will include an urban/coastal water system lab, a geosystems lab, an urban informatics/critical infrastructure analysis space, sustainable infrastructure labs, and an environmental process and molecular analysis lab.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, The S/L/A/M Collaborative exhibited architectural renderings of the new building through 360-degree virtual reality viewers, providing a 3-D simulation of the structure complete with depth. Rutgers University is SLAM’s first client to successfully pilot the immersive experience with the architectural renderings of Weeks Hall.
LEED Gold sustainable design certification will be sought for the facility, which has a construction cost of $55.1 million. Completion is expected in December of 2018.