Building Design

The Biodesign Institute facility design team understood that no one can fully predict where the next decades of discovery may lead. Flexibility is built into every aspects of the design, ensuring the institute’s ability to adapt easily and quickly to changes.

The architectural elements of the Biodesign Institute reinforce the idea that science brings illumination, discovery and connection to our future. The use of transparent materials is reflective of what is possible, while the use of brick connects the institute to the existing history of Arizona State University.

The environmentally friendly aspects of the institute’s facility have earned it numerous awards, including 2006 Lab of the Year by R&D Magazine. Building A and B are certified by the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (LEED). Building B was the first platinum-level LEED-certified building in Arizona, and Building B received gold certification. 

By the numbers: A and B

  • 58,000 square feet of red brick, enough to build a 2-foot tall wall from the Biodesign Institute to downtown Scottsdale
  • 37,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated to house the lower level/basement, the equivalent of the dirt that would be excavated in constructing 1,000 swimming pools
  • 24,000 square feet of glass curtain wall, which would cover half a football field
  • 13,000 cubic yards of concrete, enough to pave a 20-foot-wide road from the Biodesign Institute to the site of the medical school in downtown Phoenix.
  • 2,000 tons of cooling, the equivalent of what is needed to cool 400 average homes
  • 1,500 tons of steel reinforcement, the weight of 700 automobiles
  • 1,000 tons of structural steel, the weight of 153 elephants
  • 50 fume hoods in the laboratory areas, capable of exhausting 70,000 cubic feet of air per minute
  • 4 mega watts of power are required, enough to power 340 average homes

By the numbers: C

Biodesign Institute Building C houses critical lab and research support space designed specifically to promote and enable the creation of cutting-edge, collaborative research clusters and accelerate the research at Arizona State University.

Biodesign C is a five-story-plus-basement, 95 feet tall complex, supporting ASU’s research enterprise. It will provide high-quality wet lab space for chemistry, engineering and the biological sciences.

LEED Platinum certification for environmental quality and design 

  • Gross Square Footage: 191,035
  • Net Square Footage: 104,730
  • Total project cost: $120,000,000
  • Architect: ZGF Architects LLP/BWS Architects
  • Construction team: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • Project start date: June 2016
  • Occupied date: April 2018
  • Project end date: June 2018

Other features:

  • 4 ft. thick, 36,000 pound lead shielded door, complete with motorized interlock system, to seal powerful X-ray laser vault
  • Vibration proof flooring; poured as an entirely free-standing 4-6 ft. thick concrete pad
  • 90 tons of lead bricks line the vault
  • 17,000 cubic yards of concrete make up the structure of the building
  • The third floor is supported by over 200,000 pounds of concrete encased steel transfer beams
  • The project’s manpower peaked at over 400 workers on site per day with almost 600,000 man-hours of work for the entire project
  • World’s first compact X-ray free electron laser facility in basement
  • Rooms free from magnetic energy; degaussed vaults complete with radiation and nuclear resistant epoxy paint, making it resistant to powerful x-ray laser pulses and radiation
  • Copper screen on exterior of building keeps primary building skin shaded and saves energy. Biodesign C is expected to save over $500,000 annually