The University of California, Irvine is constructing the $250 million Falling Leaves Foundation Medical Innovation Building to accelerate the discovery of new modalities for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Designed by LMN Architects, the 215,000-sf structure will provide advanced wet labs where teams of investigators will engage in cross-disciplinary research. Featuring integrated collaboration venues and support spaces, the project will also include offices, meeting rooms, and a vivarium.
The Ohio State University broke ground in January of 2024 on the $52 million Multispecies Animal Learning Center in Columbus. Designed by Wellogy, the 100,000-sf facility will provide the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences with a dynamic hub for training and research. State-of-the-art classrooms and demonstration areas will support a progressive pedagogy of experiential education, augmented by a series of interconnecting barns with specialized housing for swine, sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and poultry.
Tulane University opened the Steven and Jann Paul Hall for Science and Engineering in January of 2024 in New Orleans. Designed by Payette and Waggonner & Ball, the 76,000-sf building offers flexible research venues, sophisticated classrooms, and common spaces for increased student and faculty interaction.
Washington University in St. Louis opened the $616 million Jeffrey T. Fort Neuroscience Research Building in January of 2024. Designed by Perkins&Will and CannonDesign, the 608,825-sf facility provides interactive lab neighborhoods where up to 120 teams can engage in collaborative discovery. An 11-story, 584,050-sf research tower is capable of accommodating up to 1,000 investigators from the departments of neurology, neuroscience, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and anesthesiology.
Canada’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization Bolsters Position as Country’s Premier Centre for Pandemic Research
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), is becoming Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research, preparing Canada for emerging health threats by expanding its expertise and infrastructure. This includes opening a new Vaccine Development Centre (VDC) to manufacture vaccines; constructing a new multispecies animal housing facility; enhancing its biosafety containment to the highest level to facilitate research on the most complex pathogens; and using its nearly five decades of success to attract top scientists.
Brown University is planning to construct the 300,000-sf Integrated Life Sciences Building (ILSB) in Providence’s Jewelry District. Designed by TenBerke and Ballinger, the seven-story facility will provide six levels of wet and dry laboratories for research programs in biology, medicine, neuroscience, bioengineering, and public health. A publicly accessible ground floor will offer a forum, a gallery, and a café, with a pedestrian thoroughfare for enhanced access to nearby buildings.
Louisiana State University Health Shreveport celebrated the completion of the $79 million Center for Medical Education in December of 2023. Designed by Perkins&Will and Coleman Partners Architects, the four-story, 155,000-sf facility features a 500-seat auditorium-in-the-round, three 250-seat active learning classrooms, and 27 flexible instructional venues. Simulation suites and clinical skills labs leverage immersive technologies to enhance experiential education and training.
The University of South Alabama broke ground in December of 2023 on a dynamic new home for the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine in Mobile. Designed by Perkins&Will and Eskew Dumez Ripple, the $200 million facility will address a nationwide shortage of physicians by enabling the first-year class size to increase from 80 to 100, with the capability to accommodate 125 students in the future.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison opened a 145,000-sf expansion of the School of Veterinary Medicine in November of 2023. Designed by Flad Architects and Foil Wyatt Architects & Planners, the three-story addition connects to the original building at each level, doubling the size of the small animal hospital and tripling the space dedicated to infectious disease research. Laboratories for basic discovery are complemented by ABSL-3, BSL-3, and BSL-2 environments for working with influenza, SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, and more.
The University of Georgia dedicated the $54.1 million Poultry Science Building in Athens in October of 2023. Designed by Flad Architects, the 70,000-sf structure provides leading-edge facilities for programs in avian biology, genetics, nutrition, and product safety. The transformative development provides the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences with state-of-the-art classrooms, teaching labs, BSL-2 research labs, demonstration areas, conference rooms, and offices for faculty and staff.
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.