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Construction Cost

Michigan State University Employs Modular Systems and Mass Timber to Transform an Old Power Station Into a Cutting-Edge STEM Teaching Facility

Published 1/31/2024

Michigan State University’s first new instructional building in 50 years incorporates the disparate elements of a long-mothballed power plant, modular infrastructure, and mass timber. The facility on the East Lansing campus consolidates MSU’s large core undergraduate STEM courses under one roof, with both wet and dry teaching labs, classrooms, and student support space.

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Phased Rehab Saves Problematic University Building from Demolition

Published 1/17/2024

The University of Colorado Boulder saved a mid-century building from demolition by refurbishing it -- and funding it -- in stages. They continued to use the building as the students and faculty decided the best use for each space, overcoming issues of low floor-to-floor heights, inadequate mechanical systems, and asbestos. 

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Dramatic Cost Savings and Space Efficiencies Achieved by Analyzing Needs vs. Wants

Published 1/3/2024

Philadelphia-based Genesis AEC was able to reduce the square footage of a new translational medicine center of excellence by more than half and cut cost estimates by 16%, by reviewing the client’s needs versus wants; using innovative design practices, including a first-of-its-kind firewall design; and applying the approach known as “engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM).” The facility for a U.S.-based multi-national pharmaceutical company opened on Sept. 1, 2023.

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Carnegie Mellon University’s New Science Building is Designed to Support Evolving Paradigms of Interdisciplinary Education and Discovery

Published 11/29/2023

The Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences (RKM HoS), designed as a flexible, next-generation home for the future of science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), will enable researchers and students from across the university to interact on projects in the foundational sciences, computer sciences, machine learning, data analytics, and contemporary art.

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University of Nevada Constructs College of Business

Published 11/22/2023

The University of Nevada is constructing a 128,000-sf facility for the College of Business in Reno. Designed by LMN Architects, the five-story building will provide a full range of spaces tailored to best practices in modern business education. Featuring a 300-seat auditorium, the collaborative structure will house advanced technology labs, team meeting rooms, faculty and administrative offices, a café, and a student commons.

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Harnessing Data to Improve Designs and Enhance Client Collaboration

Published 6/28/2023

Decisions about space size, type, and utilization must be based on data, but massive datasets can prove to be too much of a good thing if they are not translated into usable, understandable information. HDR's proprietary software, Data Wrangler, provides a platform for facilities planners, operators, and owners to visualize how data defines their spaces, and then manipulates that data in real time to demonstrate how to maximize the assets' potential. The result: Greater collaboration and faster decision-making.

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Containing the Cost of University Residence Hall Construction

Published 2/1/2023

Many college graduates remember, with varying degrees of fondness, the spartan cinder-block dorms of their youth. Today, when most universities are competing for students, the pressure is on to add amenities like e-sports rooms, private bathrooms, and walk-in closets. How can an institution stay competitive while still keeping costs down? The secrets include thorough planning and canny management of contingency.

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Prefabricated Modular Units Can Speed Development of Research Laboratory Space

Published 5/25/2022

When the National Institutes of Health was designing two new cleanroom research facilities, it faced familiar development challenges, including space constraints on an already-crowded campus, strict cleanroom guidelines, and the urgency to get scientists in the lab. The solution: prefabricated modular units. Executed well, the modular units shorten the design and construction schedule, provide better-quality spaces than stick-built laboratories or those employing modular panels that require on-site construction, and perform better for the scientific researchers who work in them.

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Northwestern University Lab Building Exemplifies Next-Gen Workplace for Biomedical Research

Published 3/2/2022

Build the first 14 floors now, then add a 16-story tower a decade or so into the future. That was Northwestern University’s unconventional approach to the construction of the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center on the Chicago campus of its Feinberg School of Medicine. It wasn’t the only out-of-the-box decision that enabled the university to move forward with its vision of creating a 1.2 million-sf, next-generation research hub about 10 miles south of its main campus in Evanston. Similarly inventive is the ownership arrangement of the first half, which became the largest academic biomedical research building in the U.S. when it opened in 2019. One of the medical school’s three major hospital affiliates, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, owns four of the nine lab floors (amounting to roughly 160,000 sf) and has easements to four-ninths of all the common space in the 625,000-sf structure.

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Piramal Pharma Selects Merit's FlexiPOD Platform for Antibody Drug Conjugate Facility

Published 2/25/2022

Piramal Pharma Solutions broke ground in February of 2022 on a £45 million antibody drug conjugate (ADC) facility in Grangemouth, Scotland. Accommodating both manufacturing and aseptic fill/finish operations, the structure will provide additional capacity for the creation of targeted cancer treatments and other innovative therapies. Representing an expansion of Piramal's existing ADC campus, the project is being delivered by Merit using its FlexiPOD V4.0 platform.

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Combining Generic/Flexible Labs with Highly Specialized Research Space

Published 2/16/2022

While creating generic/flexible lab spaces that can be adapted to a variety of different research needs continues to be the preferred approach—especially in higher education buildings—there is also a growing need for highly specialized lab and support facilities designed for very specific types of research. As a result, facility designers are increasingly tasked with balancing the demand for both open generic/flexible labs and specialized lab spaces in a single building with the added challenge of improving energy efficiency, sustainability, and operating costs.

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Economic Bounce Driving Cost Volatility for Large Science and Technology Capital Construction Projects

Published 12/15/2021

Pandemic-induced supply chain issues, increased commodity demand, and regional labor shortages are expected to drive annual construction cost escalation for large capital projects to record highs over the near- to mid-term future. While the compounded escalation rate for non-residential construction costs have trended around 3.5 percent annually for the past 30-plus years, many regions are expected to see double that escalation rate (or more) through at least 2023, according to current market forecasts.

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Autolus Therapeutics Builds Cell Manufacturing Facility Using Modular Offsite Construction Methodology

Published 11/22/2021

Autolus Therapeutics broke ground in November of 2021 on a £66 million cell manufacturing facility in Stevenage in the United Kingdom. Accommodating the production of chimeric antigen receptor T-cells for the treatment of cancer, the 80,730-sf project is being built by Merit using modular offsite construction methodology to significantly accelerate the construction timeline and reduce carbon emissions.

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