Entry number: UB07050
Project Name: UNR Center for Molecular Medicine
Location: University of Nevada, Reno NV
Building Type: Educational
Completion Date: August 2010
Architect: Dekker Perich Sabatini
Architect: Dekker Perich Sabatini
Civil Engineer: Odyssey Engineering
Electrical Engineer: PK Electrical
Interior Designer: Dekker Perich Sabatini
Landscape Architect: Lumos & Associates
Structural Engineer: Forbes & Dunagan
Sustainability Consultant: The Weidt Group
The design approach is to create a facility that bridges a diverse user group by focusing on connectivity not only within the building program with collaborative spaces and sectional development, but also within the context and community that the building is sited.
The Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno is a $62.5 million dollar, 107,000 square feet project. Aside from scale, there are many design imperatives that weave through multi-tenant, multi-level, multi-use programs with a challenging site condition and context. Additionally, design performance of the building must not only meet the function of this complex program, but that of LEED Silver certification and Labs2l guidelines. The general diagram of the facility shows two, three story wings unfolded into a crooked bar along the northern edge of the campus. The western wing (the lab) will house three university laboratories including a Vivarium at the first floor and a mechanical penthouse at the roof. The eastern wing (the MOB, medical office building), acting with a more public face, will house two separate institutes as well as a cafeteria, auditorium, conference rooms and a central circulation core that slices perpendicularly through the building from vestibule to glass stairwell.
In response to a sensitive site, the wings follow the grade moving from high ground on the western edge to the lower eastern edge. In section this move shifts the respective floor plates of each wing off of each other and allows for interior connection via a bridge. Incoming to this area is also a new bridge that connects to an existing laboratory building due south. These converging bridges create a central node and, in turn, stage a protected patio that provides exterior connective tissue between not only the two wings, but to the Medical School campus as well. Further campus context is reinforced and reinterpreted with the exterior cladding. The existing campus brick is pulled into a skin where volumes and lighter glass planes push through and sometimes beyond it expressing and exposing interior functions.
The site is located within walking distance of many basic services, and is serviced by at least two city bus lines. Bicycle racks will be provided at the buildings. Showers and lockers for bicycle commuters will be provided, if security issues can be resolved. Marking preferred parking spaces for low-emitting, fuel efficient vehicles will be investigated. Storm water runoff rates will be maintained or reduced from the current levels if possible. The heat island effect will be reduced by Energy Star rated roofs on the building, shading some of the parking, and light-colored pavement in some parking areas. Lighting will be carefully designed to prevent light pollution while providing adequate light levels for security.
The landscape will feature drought resistant plants served with a sub-surface high-efficiency drip irrigation system. Inside the building, water use will be reduced by water-conserving faucets and showerheads, low-flush urinals, and dual flush valves for toilets. The Design Team will investigate options for salvaging gray water for use in flushing fixtures.
Energy & Atmosphere
Strategies with paybacks of ten years or less will be acceptable to the owners, with the hope of reducing energy use by as much as 42%. A monitoring system is planned for long term data collection of energy use and environmental conditions. If possible, the cooling systems will utilize refrigerants that minimize damage to the atmosphere and ozone layer.
Materials & Resources
An area will be included in the building for the storage and collection of recyclable materials during building operation. The project will incorporate materials with recycled content such as fly ash concrete, recycled steel, and finish materials with recycled content.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Day lighting will be provided for at least 75% of regularly occupied spaces, and most such spaces will have views to the outside. Measures will be taken during construction to prevent indoor air quality problems, and a 2-week flush-out period will allow building materials to off-gas prior to occupancy. There will be strict limits for levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in materials such as adhesives, paints, carpets, and composite wood products. Smoking will be prohibited in the buildings. A digital control system will monitor temperature levels, and thermal comfort will be maintained according to recognized standards.