In October 2011, three of the state's top universities broke ground on a landmark facility that will combine the resources of Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University and Portland State University. The $295 million project is the first on this scale to combine the resources of multiple universities, expanding life sciences, pharmacy, medical and dental education in Oregon with 500,000 square feet of instructional and research space.
Portland's SERA Architects and CO Architects of Los Angeles collaborated on this multi-client / fast-paced project. CO Architects led the programming and design, and SERA acted as executive architect, providing sustainability design and project management. JE Dunn was brought on board during Schematic Design to provide Construction Management services with a GMP.
One of the unique features about this new building is the enclosure design. The exterior of the Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) is made up of pre-finished perforated panels of aluminum, engineered in a corrugated profile.
“While the perforated panels give the building visual interest, they come with a technical challenge with respect to wind and water intrusion,” explains SERA Architect, Sean Scott. “Coupling the Water Shedding Membrane with the open joint perforated panels meant avoiding wind-washing that reduces effective R-values and gives the assembly a durable, breathable, maintainable, economical and aesthetically pleasing Water Shedding Membrane (WSM).”
Finding the right solution was hard enough without having to deal with a hyper-fast track design and construction schedule that further complicated the project and all of its moving parts. For example, design, permitting, sub-contractor work sessions, shop drawings, and construction phases sometimes occurred simultaneously due to the fast-tracked nature of the project. But as the team soon learned, a collaborative and innovative workforce that brought the design and construction team together to find solutions for the exterior detailing would come to be the backbone of this revolutionary build.