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rendering of the new Life Science building
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Rendering of the new Life Sciences building on the UH Mānoa campus.

The University of Hawaiʻi has selected a contractor for the design and construction of the Life Sciences building on the Mānoa campus. Construction of the state-of-the art facility is expected to begin in the fall of 2017 with completion estimated in spring 2019.

The building will include teaching and research laboratories, laboratory support spaces and office spaces for the College of Natural Sciences biology, microbiology and botany departments along with the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, which operates the state’s only transmission electron microscope. It will be located at the Diamond Head end of McCarthy Mall on the current Henke Hall location.

“We look forward to the role this new facility will play in expanding interdisciplinary educational and research opportunities for our students and faculty,” said UH Mānoa College of Natural Sciences Dean Aloysius Helminck.

Layton Construction Company, LLC with design consultant Group 70 International was awarded the $49,500,000 contract. The Layton/Group 70 team will collaborate with the university stakeholders over the next 6 months to further refine their design concept and secure necessary permits.

The Life Sciences building is the university’s first design-build project—an integrated delivery process that maintains a single contract for both the design and construction of the project with a fixed cost. Design-build projects are more likely to be completed on time and with fewer cost overruns than the typical design-bid-build process.

Critical milestone

The university was able to award the project less than two months after Governor David Ige released the funds thanks to the support of the Board of Regents and the legislature. Significant operational upgrades and the adoption of established best practices at the UH Office of Capital Improvements, which were priorities of UH President David Lassner, are also credited for the expedited timeframe.

“It took a team effort to achieve this critical milestone,” said Vice President for Administration Jan Gouveia. “A core group of 30 that spanned across all operations within UH made their personal and professional commitment to work together to envision and deliver a 21st century facility that supports multi-disciplinary shared spaces that inspire learning and advancement. Our students deserve the benefit of modern facilities to experience and discover the magnificence of the life sciences world.”

Rendering of the new Life Sciences building on the UH Mānoa campus.
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