A new nine-story, 350,000 sf biomedical research and education facility under construction at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in Worcester, Mass., will accommodate larger class sizes and extensive lab space. The facility will support more than 70 principal investigators studying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The additional space also permits campus expansion of facilities to help meet the needs for more physicians, graduate nurses, life sciences researchers, and other health sciences professionals. The project is in line with the recommendation from the Association of American Medical Colleges that medical schools identify ways of helping meet the growing physician shortage.
The $325 million building will host co-location of the Horae Gene Therapy Center, the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology, the Program in Molecular Medicine, and the new Program in Human Genetics & Evolutionary Biology. The new structure will complete the west face of the Campus Green and require the removal of a portion of a parking garage. The new building will connect with two other structures through a new system of sky bridges on the second level and below grade.
The sustainability target is LEED Gold with aspirations to net-zero energy usage. The architecture integrates high performance systems with a double-skin façade and geothermal heat pumps. The geothermal heating and cooling system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building by 55% compared to serving HVAC needs exclusively with the campus power plant.
Moving certain departments and programs to the new building will open up space for more than 30 laboratories in existing spaces. The relocation of the molecular medicine department will allow space to be leased to companies in the UMass Medicine Science Park.
“Some may be surprised to learn that UMass Chan Medical School actually increased its funded research during the pandemic,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor, executive deputy chancellor, provost, and dean of the School of Medicine. “But we were not surprised at all. The gifted research community here is deeply committed to advancing our efforts to cure disease and alleviate suffering.”
On the Building Team:
Owner: UMass Chan Medical School & UMass Building Authority
Design architect: ZGF Architects
Architect of record: Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC)
MEP Engineers: BR+A Consulting Engineers & Architectural Engineers, Inc.
Structural engineer: RSE Associates
Construction Manager: Shawmut Design and Construction