Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, University of Minnesota, United States of America

The Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building is being constructed at 23rd Avenue, south east of Minneapolis city in Minnesota, USA. It is expected to open in July 2013. The new facility will be for the research and development of new treatments and therapies for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The project is sponsored by the state of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota.

The new research building is being constructed as part of Biomedical Discovery District (BDD) project by the University of Minnesota. The BDD is a complex of research buildings, which will accommodate researchers across the Academic Health Centre to work side-by-side. The BDD project was approved by Minnesota Legislature in 2008.

The new research building is expected to accommodate up to 24 lead cancer and cardiac researchers and their support staff. It will be used to carry out research on biochemistry, which will focus on the role of chemical carcinogens in causing cancer.

The researchers based in the building will prepare new models to find better cancer treatments. The research will also study cardiac regeneration and development, muscular dystrophy, congenital heart medicine and genomics.

Cancer and cardiovascular research building design features

The design of the new research building was approved by the Board of Regents’ Facilities Committee in June 2010. Architectural Alliance and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects designed the new building.

The façade and curtain wall of the research building will be curved. The façade will also be covered with brick and glass. The building will also include an atrium, skybridge, sun shading and green roof.

Research and laborartory facilities

The new building will have a total floor space of about 280,000ft2 over five floors. It will feature shared research space, laboratory areas, researcher offices and public areas such as a café and a seminar room. The building will feature offices situated near the lab spaces. Researchers from the Lillehei Heart Institute and Masonic Cancer Centre will be accommodated in the new building.

Laboratory technology

The new building will be fitted with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. It will have an attached vivarium, and will also have research space for chemistry, genetics and mouse modelling.

The building will have the most advanced laboratories, instrumentation and support facilities to carry out research on cancer and heart diseases. It will also feature high-end microscopes, centrifuges and MRI machines.

Research building construction

Construction on the new cancer and cardiovascular building broke ground in May 2011. About 55% of the construction was completed by May 2012. All building construction is scheduled to be completed by June 2013, and the centre is expected to be occupied by the researchers in July 2013.

Resarch building contractors and architects

The building design was prepared by Architectural Alliance, a company based in Minneapolis, in association with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects of Seattle.

The building construction contract was awarded to Mortenson Construction.

The contract for design and installation of mechanical systems in the building was awarded to Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors. The mechanical work represents about 30% percent of the building construction cost.

Financing University of Minnesota research building

The overall estimated investment for the construction of the building is approximately $200m. The State of Minnesota agreed to contribute 75% of the capital costs for the facility. The University of Minnesota will contribute the rest of the investment.

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