Colorado State University broke ground in September of 2023 on a $230 million redevelopment of the Veterinary Health and Education Complex (VEHC) in Fort Collins. Delivering 300,000 sf of new program space, the expansion and renovation project will feature a replacement veterinary teaching hospital that will offer unique opportunities for immersive education. A $13 million livestock hospital will also be constructed adjacent to the Johnson Family Equine Hospital to provide additional medical, surgical, and ambulatory care facilities.
Ancora L&G began construction in August of 2023 on a $195 million life sciences center in Providence that will provide 80,000 sf of world-class research space for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Occupying the entirety of the second and third floors, the new state health lab will feature BSL-3 suites for the detection and mitigation of infectious disease agents and environmental hazards.
Recent catastrophic weather events have devastated animal facilities, with the loss of thousands of animals, years of research, and untold potential grant opportunities. The National Academies, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are calling on research institutions to be more proactive in their approach to disruptions as varied as weather, terrorism, and supply chain disruptions. Facilities design features can help protect against threats from infiltrating air and water, as well as accommodate animals and their care staff that may have to shelter in place until the threat has passed.
Emerging research is showing that automation of low-level vivarium tasks can help fill a persistent labor shortage while maintaining or even improving the animals’ quality of life. “People are expensive,” explains Jeffrey Zynda, principal and regional science practice leader at Perkins&Will in Boston. “We design so much around the human component of animal facilities when, really, we can be much more targeted and focused towards the animal needs.”
The Ohio State University is realizing its vision to facilitate collaboration between the College of Medicine and the College of Engineering. The new Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex (BMEC) is the first of a multiphase plan to advance the joint exploration of medical science and the material sciences.
The Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) is planning to construct a state-of-the-art translational research facility in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. The Doherty Institute, the Burnet Institute, and the University of Melbourne are the founding partners for the AUD$650 million project, which will accommodate over 1,000 scientists, academics, professionals, and public health experts engaged in collaborative discovery.
Purdue University is planning to construct the $160 million Nursing and Pharmacy Education Building in West Lafayette, Ind. Fostering interprofessional collaboration and discovery, the 186,000-sf facility will strategically collocate the College of Health and Human Services with the College of Pharmacy. The four-story structure will mirror modern healthcare settings with clinical simulation labs, a pharmacy practice lab, and a nuclear pharmacy lab.
The Ohio State University opened the $237.5 million Pelotonia Research Center in May of 2023 in Columbus. Collocating research programs in life sciences, engineering, data sciences, and environmental health, the 305,000-sf building will accelerate the creation of novel solutions for complex scientific problems. Pelli Clarke & Partners and Moody Nolan designed the five-story structure with integrated laboratory neighborhoods to foster collaboration and discovery.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) opened in May of 2023 in Manhattan, Kan. Enabling the rapid detection and mitigation of animal and human pathogens, the $1.25 billion complex provides state-of-the-art biocontainment labs supported by robust ventilation and decontamination systems. Sited on 48 acres adjacent to Kansas State University, the 708,000-sf development provides enhanced diagnostic and research capabilities to protect the country from emerging, zoonotic, and foreign animal diseases.
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.
Dallas County Health and Human Services is planning to construct the $52 million Public Health Laboratory in the growing Southwestern Medical District. Designed by Page, the 75,000-sf structure will provide BSL-3 environments for the detection and mitigation of infectious disease agents and toxins. Centralizing lab services previously dispersed in several locations, the state-of-the-art building will utilize robust ventilation systems to ensure the safe handling of potentially hazardous and pathogenic materials.
The University of South Alabama is planning to construct a $200 million facility for the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine in Mobile. Designed by Perkins&Will and Eskew Dumez Ripple to define a vibrant health sciences district, the project includes the demolition of two existing structures to enable the creation of a 300,000-sf building adjacent to the College of Nursing.
Long Island University opened the $26 million College of Veterinary Medicine Learning Center in February of 2023 in Brookville, N.Y. Advancing innovation in veterinary and biomedical science, the 33,100-sf facility provides three 150-seat lecture halls, classrooms, clinical skills labs, seminar rooms, and laboratories for teaching, research, and diagnostic services. A simulation training venue for working with small animals offers examination rooms, surgical suites, and a medical imaging center.
Mispro Biotech Services is building a 10,000-sf contract vivarium in Boston's Seaport District. The state-of-the-art facility will enable life science companies of all sizes to conduct preclinical drug development studies on rodents with the support of Mispro’s husbandry services, technical expertise, and regulatory compliance oversight.
The United States Congress passed Senate Bill 5002 in late 2022 to allow methods other than animal testing to be employed to establish drug efficacy and safety. Dubbed the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, the legislation supports the inclusion of cell-based assays, computer models, and microphysiological systems such as organ chips in preclinical testing operations. The bill also rescinds a stipulation that animal studies must be used when seeking a license for a biological product that is biosimilar or interchangeable with another product.