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ASU Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Research Building at the Polytechnic campus

November 19, 2004

MESA, Ariz. - Arizona State University continues to move forward with its research infrastructure expansion. On Nov. 22, the construction of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building III at the Polytechnic campus in Mesa begins. Currently, construction is under way on similar facilities located at the Tempe campus.

The $12 million, 34,600-square-foot facility will be home to the Applied Biological Sciences Research Laboratories, Applied Cognitive Sciences Center, Healthy Lifestyles Center, and Plant Made Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Facility. The building will be ready for occupancy by January 2006.

"This new building will provide additional research facilities for programs located on the Polytechnic campus and for future program development," said David Schwalm, vice provost of the campus. "It also creates an opportunity to partner with the Biodesign Institute on vaccine-focused research."

As with ASU's newer research facilities, the university is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification. If accepted, it will be the only facility on the Polytechnic campus with this distinction.

LEED's Green Building Rating System(r) is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED was created to define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement, promote integrated, whole-building design practices, recognize environmental leadership in the building industry, stimulate green competition, raise consumer awareness of green building benefits, and transform the building market.

The building will be environmentally responsible according to Neal Jones, president of Jones Studio Architects. "Some of the 'green' features include day lighting; the mechanical systems will meet stringent LEED specifications; most building materials used will come from sources within a 500 miles radius of the site; the landscaping is drought tolerant; gray water reuse recovery system and low-flow toilet fixtures will be installed, along with waterless urinals; we will use recycled building materials, energy efficient lighting fixtures and an Energy Star rated roofing; and the storm water is contained on site, meaning no runoff," said Jones.

The facility also will feature three gardens within the footprint of the building that are accessible to the occupants, a charging station for electric vehicles, and a changing room with showers for those who ride their bicycles.

The contractor making this project reality is hardison/downey construction, inc. This is the first facility it has built that is seeking LEED Silver certification.

"We are pleased to serve as general contractor for this environmentally-friendly and technically complex project," said Bob Hardison, partner and founder of hardison/downey construction, inc. "We recently completed a renovation of an existing laboratory facility on the Polytechnic campus and have a great working relationship with the staff. Constructing a building that could attain LEED Silver certification will be an exciting first for both organizations."

The building is part of the $185 million state of Arizona Research Infrastructure Bill passed by the Legislature in June 2003.

A groundbreaking will be held at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 22, at the Polytechnic campus. For directions to the campus, call (480) 727-1028 or visit