The Life Sciences building project on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus marked a major achievement on March 4, 2019. Students, administrators and officials signed their names on the final beam of the building’s steel structure before it was lifted into place. This marks about the halfway point of construction for the $50-million, three-story, 45,000-square-foot facility that is scheduled to be completed in late spring 2020.
“It’s gonna be really cool to be able to study in this building, maybe like years later come back and be like, wow, there’s my signature on the beam,” said UH Mānoa sophomore Katlyn An, who is studying biochemistry. She was among a group of nine students from the College of Natural Sciences who took part in the event.
The state-of-the-art facility will house teaching and research laboratories, laboratory support spaces and office spaces for the biology, microbiology and botany departments from the College of Natural Sciences, along with the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, which operates the state’s only transmission electron microscope. It will serve 1,000 students weekly and house more than 80 faculty members and graduate students.
The Life Sciences building is also 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. The university now uses the design-build project strategy whenever possible, because design build projects are more likely to be completed on time and with fewer cost overruns than the typical design-bid-build process.
“We’re demonstrating our capacity to build modern facilities for 21st century research and education, and doing so in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” said UH President David Lassner.
The project is also the most significant capital project on the Mānoa campus for instructional and research spaces in 22 years. The building is located at the Diamond Head end of McCarthy Mall on East-West Road between Moore Hall and Kennedy Theatre.