20 Somerset Street

Suffolk University
  • Chemistry Classroom

    Photo by Sean Airhart, courtesy of NBBJ

  • Science Classroom

    Photo by Sean Airhart, courtesy of NBBJ

  • Typical Lab Floor

    Courtesy of NBBJ

  • First Floor Lobby

    Courtesy of NBBJ

Suffolk University’s new 110,000-sf, 10-story academic building, 20 Somerset Street, contains four floors of general classroom space topped by four floors of lab space—1,100 classroom seats in all—in addition to a first-floor, 200-seat cafeteria that doubles as a function room. In the middle is a floor dedicated to student support services, including computer labs and a learning center. The building houses the university’s physics, chemistry, and biology departments, as well as the journalism and communications department and faculty offices.

The labs are open and filled with natural light. Adjustable-height tables can convert to benches, the cabinets are moveable, and whiteboards line the walls; moveable center tables and flush floor-mounted utilities allow for flexible configuration. Chemistry classrooms include perimeter fume hoods with central gathering and AV-equipped teaching stations.

The exterior of the building features precast concrete panels and a glass curtainwall revealing the colorful interiors. A transparent stairwell on a prominent corner of the site offers students moving between classes the opportunity to “see and be seen” on campus. The building opens out onto Roemer Plaza, which was redesigned to create the University’s first quad.

Lounges and informal gathering spaces are located throughout the building, providing many opportunities for spontaneous conversation and collaboration among students and faculty.

The building is tracking LEED Silver certification.

Project Data
Project Type: 
New Construction
Completion Date: 
September, 2015
Boston, MA
Delivery Method: 
CM at Risk, Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP)
Project GSF: 
Project NSF: 
Construction Cost: 
Building Descriptors: 
Higher Education
Education: Biology
Education: Chemistry
Education: Classroom
Education: Computer Lab
Education: Faculty Office
Education: Physics
Laboratory: Teaching
Suffolk Construction Company
Mechanical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineers
RDK Engineers
Electrical Engineers
Thompson Engineering
Structural Engineers
LeMessurier Consultants Inc.
Structural Engineers
Nitsch Engineering
Geotechnical Engineers
Haley Aldrich
Landscape Architect
Klopfer Martin Design Group (KMDG)
Lab Furniture, Casework, Biosafety Cabinets, and Fume Hoods
New England Lab
Fume Hoods
Mott Manufacturing
Strobic Fans
Greenheck Fan Corporation
Air Handlers
Trane Company
Vertical Transportation
Delta Beckwith
Published 12-2-2015