Rice University BioScience Research Collaborative, American Building Project News, Design

Rice University BioScience, Houston, Texas

RU BRC Building, TX design by SOM, Architects: USA Education Development Information

Rice University BioScience Building

Rice University BioScience Research Collaborative, Houston, Texas, USA
Date built: 2009
Design: Skidmore Owings Merrill Architects (SOM)

While there have been an number of multi-disciplinary research buildings created on major campuses across the nation, the idea of multi-institutional collaboration is setting a new precedent. Rice University BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) facilitates collaboration between researchers of different scientific disciplines from Rice University and various institutes from Texas Medical Center.

The 477,000 gsf building is strategically located to bridge between the two adjacent campuses, bringing the inside of Rice University out, engaging Texas Medical Center and welcoming the City of Houston. At the heart of the BRC is a central “collaborative hub.”

Rice University Sally Port building and formal landscape, Houston, Texas, United States of America:
Rice University Sally Port building landscape, Houston
photo : Claudia Paine22, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This cylindrical core, expressed in the building’s form, serves as the center of intellectual and social exchange in the building. This openplan workspace brings together students who work with different principal investigators to promote cross fertilization of ideas.

Additionally, the hub is connected by double-height lounges accessed by open staircases which further encourage interaction. The “scientific marketplace” at the base of the building brings scientists from all floors together in shared core facilities, including imaging, vivarium, microscopy, classrooms and an auditorium, plus amenities such as retail, an outdoor plaza and cafés.

The BRC was designed to meet Gold LEED ® certification criteria, including one of the largest Heat Wheel and Air Acuity installations implemented in a lab facility to date.

Using an alternate form of IPD process, the project team saved $10 million by bringing in the building a year ahead of the original schedule with highly coordinated decision making and six early construction packages as part of the hyper-track delivery. Another $8 million was saved through the collaborative design process with the owner, the design team and the contractor.

Rice University BioScience Research Collaborative – Building Information

Scope: Architecture, Graphics, Interior Design, Programming, Structural Engineering (Schematic Design)
Architect: Skidmore Owings Merrill Architects, SOM
Client: Rice University
Size: 477,000 sqft
Date: 2009

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: moving away from traditional science silos to more occasions for intellectual and social exchange of ideas.

Architecture creates opportunities for collaboration and innovation, especially if it provides access to light, is spatially and programmatically rich, and has interior spaces that are easily adaptable to change.

Rice University BioScience Research Collaborative information from Skidmore Owings Merrill Architects

Skidmore Owings Merrill architects – SOM

Location: Rice University Houston, Houston, Texas, United States of America

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Website: Houston, Texas