subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
careers industry jobs
events events
Dodge Data & Analytics
ENR Logo
Web access will be provided
as part of your subscription.

Higher Education/Research: University of Washington Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building

Text size: A A

Situated within the central science core of the University of Washington's Seattle campus, the $59-million, 90,000-sq-ft first phase of the master-planned Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building was designed to create a multidisciplinary research setting and strengthen existing science programs.

To fit the facility on the site, historic Cunningham Hall—built in 1909 as part of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition—had to be relocated. Within this footprint, the design took advantage of the topography to provide ground-level and below-grade instrumentation labs.

The school claims it is the largest core lab on the West Coast with ultra-low-vibration and electromagnetic-interference requirements. Given the location of the instrumentation labs, regularly occupied research labs and offices were designed above grade to take advantage of daylight and to provide views of Seattle's skyline and nearby mountains.

The project features the first naturally ventilated offices in a laboratory building on the university's campus. Because a typical cross-ventilation strategy between labs and offices was not possible due to the health and safety requirements, the team took an integrated approach to develop and test solutions to make the natural ventilation strategy work. A custom-designed, elevated-temperature, chilled-water loop, fed by a heat-recovery chiller system, serves the process cooling equipment associated with the microscopes as well as the chilled beams that provide cooling in the microscope spaces.

Project Team

Owner: University of Washington, Seattle

Architect: ZGF Architects, Seattle

General Contractor: Hoffman Construction Co., Seattle

Engineers: KPFF Consulting Engineers, Portland, Ore.; Affiliated Engineers, Seattle

Consultants: Research Facilities Design, San Diego; SOLARC, Eugene, Ore.

Landscape Architect: Walker Macy, Portland, Ore.


----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.