Construction is underway at 345 Brook Street, where Brown University’s new School of Engineering building is reaching skyward, one beam at a time. On May 25, a crowd of Brown students, faculty, nearby residents and government officials, including Mayor Jorge Elorza, gathered for a “topping off” ceremony that featured remarks by the mayor and by Brown officials before workers raised a steel beam signed by members of the Brown community.
Construction on the three-story, 80,000 square foot building started in November 2015 and is slated to finish in January, 2018. The 88 million dollar project, designed by Philidelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimerlake, is expected to feature 22 new research labs, including top of the line “cleanroom” laboratory facilities for nanoscale and biomedical engineering, areas that are expected to grow in the next few decades. In addition, the building and surrounding site’s architecture will include energy saving vertical fins and trees which will provide shade in the warmer months and allow sunlight in during the cooler months, furthering Brown’s commitment to an environmentally friendly campus.
The construction itself is utilizing cutting edge systems planning, called integrated project delivery, a construction system that pushes Brown, KieranTimerlake and Shawmut construction firm to work more closely. “It will create a culture of collaboration and innovation,” says Larry Larson, Brown’s Dean of Engineering. “It’s a model for the nation in the years ahead.” It’s a system that has never been used at Brown, or for a building of this type. The new building will be replacing out-of-date facilities that are struggling to keep up with the increasingly demanding needs of the school’s projects. In the interim, the school has moved into the recently finished Applied Mathematics building until the new Engineering building is operational. For the Brown School of Engineering and the surrounding neighborhood, the building should be an exciting addition to the growing collection of cutting edge facilities on the East Side.