Community and Innovation: The Health Sciences Facility III at the University of Maryland, Baltimore

The future of health is a long road to travel on, but each incremental advance takes experts closer to solving some of the world's most critical diseases. To make breakthroughs, experts need a facility centered on trailblazing technology and a workspace with collaboration at the forefront. Along with HOK Architects, Design Collective of Baltimore, and laboratory planning from Jacobs, the Barton Malow team executed on an innovative way to think about the future of academic research in the health field through a LEED Gold certified facility.

A Unique Collaboration Experience

The Health Sciences Facility III (HSF III) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore measures 10-stories tall at 428,000+ square feet. Located among the medicine, dentistry and pharmacy schools' existing facilities, the project is meant to create and maximize interaction and resource sharing between researchers. The largest building on UMB's campus, this cutting-edge facility provides both the space and new technology for the School of Medicine to continue to advance scientific discovery.

The HSF III tower, which connects to a five-story dry lab tower through a multi-story collaboration space, contains nearly 70,000 square feet of open wet and support labs to house collaborative research for 92 principal investigators. Meanwhile, the connected five-story dry lab tower supports 18 principal investigators. In addition, flanking the perimeter labs are formal and informal meeting areas focused on creating a true communicating space. Finally, to protect equipment from possible flooding due to Baltimore's high water table, a 4.5-foot-thick mat slab creates a "bathtub" effect.

The Heart of Baltimore

Every project Barton Malow undertakes is centered on making a civic impact. HSF III is no different, and the goal of the project was to create a research facility that had students in mind and a city at its heart.

"The Health Sciences Facility III further strengthens our footprint in west Baltimore and, as a result our economic impact on the city," said University of Maryland president, Jay A. Perman, M.D., to School Construction News.

HSF III provided not just an exercise in building innovative structures, but a conscious effort in redefining the learning experience for students in a way that benefits their community.