A regenerative environment

James
Tuesday 01 Mar 2011

Perkins + Will designs facility to prolong the built environment and human life

The University of Florida Clinical Translational Research Building (CTRB) serves as the major catalyst for developing models and synergies in medical research, education, and healthcare across all colleges and departments at the University. The CTRB will extend clinical treatment from bench to bedside to curbside by outreach to the local community, creating a unique clinical research environment. The building creates a unified home for the NIH funded Institute on Aging (IOA) and the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) which are joined within a 120,000-sq-ft facility that is one of the first of its kind.

Inspired by the Biophilia Hypothesis the project emerges as a leaf drawn in the canvas of the site organising the project footprint into vein-like channels which filter and transmit stormwater to an on-site retention basin. The leaf’s central spine unites the IOA and CTSI by creating a collaborative courtyard. The two institutes each consist of a wing of clinical and support spaces at the ground level with research spaces above. The wings are joined by shared multi-purpose spaces, conference rooms, collaborative spaces and the main entry lobby.

The concept 'sustaining life itself provides healing' emerged from the desire to provide sustainable healing, working and educational environments. The concept; considering nature as both model and context provides the framework for the building design and sustainable strategies. The building utilises the environmental forces on the site to provide for its needs. Available solar radiation provides daylighting and energy through photovoltaic collectors. Rainwater and condensate will be collected for flushing toilets and irrigation. The building will achieve energy use reduction of up to 50% by its orientation, glazing design and through the use of underfloor displacement ventilation in the office and research areas. The project has a LEED® certification goal of Platinum and will be carbon-neutral.

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