Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building

University of Minnesota
Published 10-15-2014
  • Wet Lab

    Photo by Paul Crosby

  • Equipment Lab with Wet Lab Capabilities

    Photo by Paul Crosby

  • Atrium

    Photo by Paul Crosby

The new four-story Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building at the University of Minnesota consists of the 158,000-sf Cancer Research Building, a 96,000-sf addition to the Lillehei Heart Research Building, and a 34,000-sf vivarium used by the entire Biomedical Discovery District. The facility houses the University’s Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, as well as two groups of investigators from Masonic Cancer Center: chemical biologists focusing on studying chemical carcinogens as a cause of cancer, and faculty focusing on novel therapeutic strategies to fight cancer.

The flexible and open research labs with co-located researcher offices are contained within two multi-story blocks that straddle the lobby and a central atrium. The CCRB was designed to accommodate over 60 principal investigators and more than 600 staff and faculty. Biology labs occupy the top two floors, while chemistry labs are located on the second floor. Expansive windows in the lab provide unobstructed views and daylight, and movable desks and lab benches offer flexibility. The lab support zone—which includes tissue culture rooms, procedure rooms, fume hoods, and various instrumentation rooms—sits between the perimeter workstations and a linear equipment room that leads to the service elevator and research commons.

The 40,000-sf research commons, which occupies more than half of the first floor, incorporates an animal research facility for genetics and mouse modeling and shared instrumentation spaces housing cellular imaging, long-term physiology care, small-animal imaging, flow cytometry and the Biomedical Genomics Center, as well as staff support areas such as barrier lockers, offices and a break room. Sharing the space avoids duplication of equipment, improves staff accessibility and, in turn, reduces the overall cost of research.

Secured and separated from the public areas of the CCRB, the research commons connects to the lab on the floors above via a service elevator. A secure support corridor running the entire length of the research commons links the service elevator to the loading dock. The research commons also attaches on the first floor directly to the adjacent Medical Biosciences Building. A second elevator serves the mechanical penthouse for the research commons and offers a possible future connection point to the CMRR or other on-site development. An interstitial space above the animal research facility allows unimpeded access to building systems without disruption to researchers.

The public commons consists of a multi-purpose seminar room with capacity for 150 people and technology infrastructure to accommodate a variety of live and video presentations; a full-service cafeteria and dining area with outdoor seating; and an exhibit space.

Sustainability features include:

  • Heat-recovery systems in the general exhaust and fume hoods
  • Mechanical condensate collection
  • A night setback mode for biosafety cabinets that reduces air change rates in the labs
  • Occupancy sensors
  • LED lighting
  • Task lighting at lab benches.
  • Extensive sun shades on the exterior of the building
  • High-efficiency fixtures and native plantings and storm water control from the green roof over the research commons.

The Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building is the fifth and final building of the Biomedical Discovery District, and serves as a gateway to the District, joining the Lions Research Building, the McGuire Translational Research Facility, the Winston and Maxine Wallin Medical Biosciences Building, and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.

Project Data
Project Type: 
Expansion, New Construction
Completion Date: 
June, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
Delivery Method: 
CM at Risk
Project GSF: 
Construction Cost: 
Building Descriptors: 
Higher Education
Education: Biology
Education: Biomedical
Education: Lecture Or Seminar Hall
Laboratory: Biomedical Research
Laboratory: Chemistry
Laboratory: Core
Laboratory: Research
Laboratory: Teaching
Laboratory: Wet
Office: Researcher
Research: Biomedical
ZGF Architects LLP
Design Architect
Architectural Alliance
Architect of Record
M. A. Mortenson Construction
Jacobs Consultancy
Lab Planner
Damon Farber Associates
Landscape Architect
Ericksen Roed & Associates
Structural Engineer
Pierce Pini and Associates
Civil Engineer
Kewaunee Scientific Corporation
Casework and Fume Hoods
Lynx Product Group
Cage Wash, Bedding, Tunnel Washers, Cage Racks
PRIMUS Sterilizer Co., LLC