Washington State University is in the early planning stages for a new $57.5 million laboratory building on the east side of campus, along Grimes Way in Pullman.
The WSU Clean Technology Laboratory Building is envisioned as an 85,000-square-foot facility that would house programs offering research and education in energy management, renewable energy, biofuels, and the environment. WSU says science and engineering programs would study ways to reduce reliance on foreign oil, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and improve air and water quality, among other endeavors.
Jeff Lannigan, a WSU project manager, says that in addition to the potential economic boost for the state from developing new clean technologies, the building would solve space issues for engineering and science programs that are spread out between three or four facilities.
WSU's project schedule calls for construction to begin in the summer of 2013, and for the building to be completed by fall 2015.
The university plans to select a design-build team by the middle of next year through a competition, Lannigan says. By the end of January, WSU expects to call for qualifications from prospective design-build firms, he says. It then will narrow the field to three teams that will be asked to participate in a schematic design competition, he says, for a basic architectural approach that starts to define the shape of the building, floor plans and how it will sit on the site.
The winning team among the three will proceed with final design and construction, and the other two will be paid a stipend, he says. WSU just started to use this design-build competition process on a case-by-case basis, Lannigan adds. In the past, WSU has used a conventional low-bid approach, advertising separately for a designer firm and general contractor.
"It's fairly new in terms of using it for state projects, and it's new for us," Lannigan says. "UW has some experience with it. It's not unusual in the industry." He adds that a benefit is that a design-build team in the design competition approach work closely together, earlier in the process, to build the best value project based on overall design criteria and budget.
WSU currently is working with the Seattle office of HDR Architecture Inc. as a consultant on the new laboratory, mainly to determine space requirements for the WSU programs that would be housed in the building, Lannigan says.
To date, the project has received $2.5 million in funding to start the planning and design phases, he adds.
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