The University of Maryland has broken ground on a chemistry building to enable new discoveries and ‘transformational’ research and innovation.
The 105,000ft² research building was designed by architectural firm Ballinger and is being built with a $116m investment, funded by the capital budget of Maryland state.
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company will construct the building, which is scheduled for opening in 2023.
The building is expected to help the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry expedite innovations in advanced materials, energy storage, drug discovery and delivery, nanoscience and quantum chemistry.
University of Maryland president Darryll Pines said: “Thanks to investment by the state of Maryland and generous partners, this new facility gives us a competitive edge at a critical time to tackle grand challenges with leading technologies.”
The facility will feature 34 research labs, two core research facilities and 13,000ft² of collaboration space.
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Its flexible, climate-controlled research labs are designed to be modified easily to meet faculty members’ needs.
The building will also house a grand colloquia and events venue capable of accommodating 45 faculty members and 600 undergraduate majors and graduate students, aimed to allow them to interact and engage with experts.
It will also feature 12 meeting and huddle rooms for impromptu discussions, research group meetings and thesis defences.
University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences dean Amitabh Varshney said: “This new building will expand our legacy of leadership in the chemical sciences.
“In this new Chemistry Building, our faculty and students will create nanomaterials for next-generation biosensors, fabrics and batteries, develop biomolecules functionalised to treat human diseases and explore the chemistry required for quantum devices.”
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor and Chair Janice Reutt-Robey said: “We aim to be a Top Ten chemistry and biochemistry programme, and this new building is the physical catalyst necessary to help us achieve that goal.”