Haselden Construction tops out CSU biology building

Hord Coplan Macht designed the project.

Haselden Construction recently held a celebration commemorating the construction progress on Colorado State University’s new $67 million biology building – the first new science lab built for the biology department in many years. The beam, signed by CSU students and faculty, was secured atop the structure and will remain fully visible in the building’s eastern stairway.

The building is designed to become a campus destination with large, two-story “idea space” for students and faculty to collaborate. The new 152,000-square-foot building will include state-of-the-art research laboratories advancing CSU’s nationally ranked biology department.

“Since the building is predominantly student funded, it was very important for the design to engage the students and encourage their love of science,” said project principal Jennifer Cordes of Hord Coplan Macht, which designed the project. “Object cases project from the walls with glass on multiple sides encourage viewing from all angles with provoking content and questions that create animation and interest for repeat visitors.”

The project is pursuing a LEED Innovation in Design credit based upon the biophilic design elements that incorporate nature’s patterns, processes and evolved human nature relationships.

The biology building will be in close proximity to the new chemistry research building. “The two buildings together create the Science Commons, which will be an active outdoor space on campus,” Cordes said.

“It’s exciting to pioneer the first design-build project on the campus,” stated Haselden project manager Brent Haselden. “Both Colorado State University and design-build architect partner Hord Coplan Macht have been great to work with and the project couldn’t be going better.”

Design-build is a delivery method where the design team and the construction team are “tied” together contractually.

“The design-build method has mixed reviews from higher education institutions across the state and country,” Cordes said. “Many clients love the approach because it ensures the contractor and architect will work well together; they picked each other!

“They also like that it allows for a better balance of design expectations and cost control because the architect and the GC are at the table together throughout the process,” Cordes continued. “This well-coordinated approach makes the costs associated with every design decision more transparent, which helps manage user expectations and allows campus stakeholders to be more fully engaged in the cost estimating process.” Hord Coplan Macht is working on two other design-build projects in Colorado: Quigley Hall at Western State Colorado University and CSU Pueblo’s Occiatto Center. The firm recently completed the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Academic Office Building at the Colorado Springs campus.

With over 1,400 students, biology is the largest major on CSU’s campus. The new building will provide the department with new teaching labs, research labs, administrative/office space and a 100-plus-person lecture room. It will open in fall 2017.

Featured in CREJ’s June 15-July 5, 2016, issue

Kris Oppermann Stern is publisher and editor of Building Dialogue, a Colorado Real Estate Journal publication, and editor of CREJ's construction, design, and engineering section, including news and bylined articles. Building Dialogue is a quarterly, four-color magazine that caters specifically to the AEC industry, including features on projects and people, as well as covering trends…