Stellenbosch University opened the $66 million Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI) in Cape Town in April of 2023. Located on the Tygerburg Campus, the 354,000–sf complex leverages an open design to foster active collaboration between researchers, staff, and students as they investigate the diseases that have the greatest impact on South Africa. Housing the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, this high-performance research hub features a BSL-3 laboratory spanning 6,500 sf, the largest on the continent. A fully automated biorepository with redundant power and active monitoring systems can store 3.5 million clinical samples at a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius. The Sunskill Laboratory provides sophisticated instrumentation for specialist surgical training. The highly flexible and modular structure also includes a bioinformatics core, state-of-the-art dissection halls, a morphology museum, a clinical research unit, conference venues, and labs for proteomics, electron microscopy, and flow cytometry.
Achieving a 4-Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa, the BMRI employs an array of sustainable strategies such as energy recovery technologies, an insulated glass façade, and a next-generation Building Management System (BMS). Smart lighting that adjusts to complement natural illumination includes a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) that allows users to customize their environments. The project team included Roelof Rabe Architects, Ludwig Design Consulting, JG Afrika, WBHO Construction, Glad Africa, Triocon Consulting Engineers, EKCON Engineers, and lab planner LTS Health. Construction began on the world-class facility in January of 2019.
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