September 13, 2011
Best of show: University's Large Animal Research Center wins prestigious design-build award
Along with calling its new facilities flexible and robust, the Kansas State University Large Animal Research Center can also add award winning to the list of adjectives.
Recently the center was named one of the best design-build projects by the Design-Build Institute of America. The award recognizes a project that satisfies a client's needs, as well as recognizes high collaboration between the project's designer, engineers, contractor, architect and clientele. The project and collaborators McCownGordon Construction LLC, Kansas City, Mo.; Treanor Architects, Lawrence; and K-State officials will be recognized at an awards ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 20, in St. Charles, Mo.
"I think the award was well-deserved. The design-build team did a really good job and the project turned out great," said Mark George, an architect-project manager with K-State's facilities planning office.
George was part of the project from start to completion: drafting the initial program statement, participating in the selection of the design-build team, and administering the design-build contract.
The Large Animal Research Center was completed in October 2010. It's the second design-build project at K-State and it's the second university building honored by the Design-Build Institute of America. In February, the institute named K-State's School of Leadership Studies building as the best institutional building and as the project of the year.
Design-build is a collaborative process between the client, designer, contractor and engineers. It enables all parties to work together through each stage of the project's development, discussing and adapting the design in order to ensure an optimal facility that meets the client's needs.
"To me it boils down to how satisfied the owner is in the end," said David Livingood, principal/project manager at Treanor Architects who led the design team efforts for the Large Animal Research Center. "In this particular case, the feedback that we received from the owner -- the university -- and the Comparative Medicine Group was that they're not only satisfied with the process, but also the results. It was very much a team effort when it came to making quick decisions, good decisions and informed decisions."
The finalized Large Animal Research Center began operations in January 2011. It serves as a core resource for scientists who work with large animals in any of the university's colleges.
The center is a 19,000-square-foot indoor research facility, which is able to host animals ranging from piglets to horses. It also includes a horse barn, the Dryden-Merial Tick Research Center, a shop/storage building with wash bay, and an onsite caretaker building for students providing care for animals on weekends and evenings.
The original center was located at the northern edge of the K-State campus and called Research Hill. The facility, however, was demolished after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security selected the land as the location for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF. The newly built and newly renamed Large Animal Research Center is now near the intersection of Denison and Marlatt avenues.
"The university got a really good value for this type of facility," George said. "The new Large Animal Research Center is a considerable improvement over the old facilities that evolved over the last 50 years."