11/04/2004

World Class

New facility at Rensselaer takes research in a new direction

 

Voice, Data, and Communications

A 150-seat auditorium, the Bruggeman Conference Center, and other meeting spaces at the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies include wireless capabilities, as well as dataports and electrical connections at every seat, says Rensselaer Senior Executive for Capital Projects Amr Abdel-Azim. “Of particular note,” he adds, “is that the facility houses a dynamic command center that encompasses audio-visual, presentation, and wireless opportunities for the exchange of information within the building, the institute, and globally.

For more information about the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, visit (www.rpi.edu).

It’s not often that an exceptional group of leaders in science, engineering, business, and government are assembled in one place, but it’s even less frequent when such an exceptional research facility as Troy, NY-based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s new Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies opens its doors. “[These leaders’] participation is a testament to what the Rensselaer community has accomplished in a few short years,” says Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson of the multi-day event in mid-September. “By establishing the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, we have created a gathering place where scientists and engineers from various disciplines will explore at the intersection of the life sciences, with engineering and the physical and information sciences, thereby accelerating discovery and ultimately enhancing the quality of life for all people.”

Designed to foster the multidisciplinary nature of biotechnology, the 218,000-square-foot, $100-million facility is organized around “constellations” of research: Biocomputation and Bioinformatics; Integrative Systems Biology; Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine; and Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering. Each research constellation of “star” faculty, junior faculty, and students will constitute a critical mass of expertise within the specific focal area, while each focal area will involve overlapping fields of expertise. With its high-tech laboratories and expansive atrium, the center provides a platform for collaboration among many diverse academic and research disciplines to enhance discovery and encourage innovation.

Implementing the teaming and interaction so necessary in today’s workplaces is unique to research facilities, says Amr Abdel-Azim, senior executive for capital projects at Rensselaer. “The building is designed to provide an environment for researchers to meet each other, work together, and ‘rub elbows.’ In working together, the layout of the building encourages them to look at the same aspect from different angles,” he notes, adding that many of the design elements of this living classroom were developed jointly between architects Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, but further assisted by the insight of research personnel and a number of Rensselaer alumni now practicing architecture.

The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies will become home to a new $22.5-million Gen*NY*sis Center for Biotechnology and Medicine funded by New York State. Additionally, Rensselaer has received $750,000 in federal funding to support the creation of a new Center for Quantitative and Computational Bioscience to be housed in this facility.

Linda K. Monroe (linda.monroe@buildings.com) is editorial director at Buildings magazine.

 


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Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

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Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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