University of Utah USTAR James L Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building

University of Utah USTAR James L Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building

Salt Lake City, Utah
Services rendered
Lord Aeck Sargent

2013 ACEC Utah Engineering Excellence Grand Award - Structural Systems

2012 ACI Intermountain Excellence in Concrete Award

The Molecular Biotechnology Building was developed through the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) to house 24-30 principal investigators and their research teams. The facility’s laboratory space, faculty offices, symposium space, conference space, and public areas are designed to provide an environment that supports collaboration and encourages interaction of faculty from diverse disciplines. A creative architectural design incorporated cantilevered slabs up to 17 feet long, column grids skewed 33 degrees from the primary building axis, and a large four-story atrium which bisects the building. Core technical spaces – housing optical imaging with high performance microscopes, nanofabrication, vivarium and research space – were designed to be as flexible as possible given unknown needs of future occupants. The creative architecture combined with the core technical space requirements resulted in structural challenges that were solved with simple yet innovative methods. Reaveley designed a reinforced concrete, two-way flat plate floor system to meet the strict vibration requirements of the technical spaces while providing an economical solution to the skewed grid system and long cantilevers. This unique deviation from the traditional approach reduced the project cost and provided flexibility to meet the needs of future technology.

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