Solution

University of Rhode Island, Center for Biotechnology and Life Science

Kingston, RI

Completion

2010

Awards

2010 Merit Award, Boston Society of Architects
2010 Merit Award, AIA/Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island, Center for Biotechnology and Life Science

Photo by Payette

University of Rhode Island, Center for Biotechnology and Life Science

Photo by Payette

University of Rhode Island, Center for Biotechnology and Life Science

Photo by Payette

The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences is the first phase of a coordinated effort by the University of Rhode Island to rejuvenate its science campus. SGH designed the structure for the 142,000 sq ft, five-story building housing academics, research, and Biosafety Level 3 laboratories. 

Scope | Solutions

The structure features a monumental stair, two-story auditorium, and mechanical penthouses. While the L-shaped structure is built into a natural hillside, there is at-grade access to the first floor and basement level. The north and south wings are separated by a four-story atrium spanned by pedestrian bridges at each floor. The building features a green roof with public access spaces. SGH developed a structural design that accomplished the following:

  • Resolving substantial unbalanced earth pressures on the building due to the hillside location

  • Detailing the connection from the pedestrian bridges to the building wings to accommodate expansion and architectural requirements

  • Distributing wind and earthquake forces through the pedestrian bridges to the concentrically braced steel frames in the laboratory and teaching wings

  • Supporting the atrium’s four-story curtain wall system with hangers from the roof structure instead of large columns that would have affected the space’s aesthetics

  • Coordinating the atrium’s structural design with the architect and curtain wall designer/fabricator

Project Contact(s)