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A Phased Approach to Deliver a Sophisticated Research Facility

UW Molecular Engineering Building

This sophisticated building houses the university’s initiative in the cutting-edge field of molecular engineering; building it combined the demands of lab construction with the ultrahigh tolerances of high-tech work. A stylish, terraced building, it sits at one of the campus’s most visible “front doors.”

The new facility provides space for safely performing organic, inorganic, and biomolecular syntheses, consolidating sensitive molecular and nanotechnology instrumentation into a single location to enhance research synergy among UW’s programs. The project has received multiple awards, including Engineering News Record’s Best Higher Education/Research Project Award.

Challenge

How do you build a cutting-edge research lab with ambitious sustainability goals, right in the heart of the University of Washington, without no impacts to the rest of campus?

Solution

During preconstruction, Hoffman helped the design team and UW develop separate zones for research and public space, separated by motorized sliding doors. Laboratory spaces use 100% outside air to protect users from harmful fumes and bacteria. Public spaces use actuated windows tied to the building control system, with ventilation shafts that draw outside air into the building using wind turbines and solar gain boxes. Our diligent waste management program achieved a 95% recycle rate.

Contract Type

CMGC

Client

University of Washington

Architect

ZGF Architects

Location

Seattle, WA

Year

2012

Price

$58,765,409

Sustainability

LEED Gold

2013 Best Project - Higher Education — Engineering News Record NW

2013 Environmental Landscape Awards - Award of Distinction — WA Association of Landscape Professionals

2012 Distinguished Green Project — Northwest Construction Consumer Council

2013 Best Project - Higher Education — Engineering News Record

Project Video Overview

Video Courtesy of ZGF Architects

Stringent Safety Planning to Protect Student Life

Hoffman built the 90,000 SF Phase I of this master-planned 160,000 SF facility in the historic core of the UW campus, placing a premium on safety and careful planning to avoid disruption to educational activities. Hoffman’s safety planning included “safety only” meetings with every subcontractor on the job, mock-ups to demonstrate safety procedures and expectations, and Lean construction methods (“Nothing Hits the Floor”) that supported an efficient, clutter-free job site. The project had the lowest recordable rate of any UW capital project.

Stringent Safety Planning to Protect Student Life image
Stringent Safety Planning to Protect Student Life image
Stringent Safety Planning to Protect Student Life image
Stringent Safety Planning to Protect Student Life image
Hoffman's Get Us There Safe Program image

Hoffman's Get Us There Safe Program

Safety is the central value of Hoffman’s culture, permeating every level of our organization. We believe construction injuries are preventable through planning, training, teamwork, and individual vigilance. Our Get Us There Safe campaign serves as a daily reminder to get everyone who touches our projects home safely.

Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money

Hoffman added value for the University by coordinating all the utilities for Phase 2 during the Phase 1 construction. Working closely with key subcontractors and other project partners, we dug trenches and laid conduit to set the stage for smooth construction in Phase 2. Complete, well-coordinated bid packages resulted in extremely competitive pricing that enabled the University to achieve the full scope within budget.

Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image
Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image
Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image
Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image
Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image
Planning for Future Phases to Save the University Money image

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