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Scientific education and research come together with mountain scenery in the heart of campus to create function and beauty.


Northern Arizona University’s science teaching facilities were functionally obsolete, severely limiting the ability of the campus to respond to increasing student enrollment and fundamental science instruction. The university required new state-of-the-art, flexible research laboratories to meet the demands for innovative research programs. The building site replaced a parking lot at a key juncture between the campus’s primary north-south pedestrian axis and the original historic quad. Top priorities included defining safe chemical transport routes and secure chemical storage. Achieving LEED Gold was mandated.


The Science & Health building now creates a vital link between the quad and pedestrian axis. The five-story facility combines a fume hood, intensive teaching and research laboratory wing, and opposing office wing.  A multi-level atrium space also provides connectivity with open interaction and group study rooms close to faculty and graduate offices. Internally, a service corridor with elevator provides a secure, pressurized circulation route for chemicals and restricts access to laboratory support spaces. At loading dock level, the building integrates a centralized chemical receiving and storage facility to solve an existing campus-wide hazardous material control and distribution issue.  The building meets LEED Gold requirements.

Project Performed with richard+bauer

Role: Architect & Engineer of Record
Size: 122,000 SF
Cost: $71.9M
  • AIA Design Award - Distinguished Building - Citation Award
  • ENR Southwest - Best Project - Higher Education/Research
  • AZRE RED Award – Education
  • USGBC- LEED NC 2009 Gold