Rutgers University breaks ground for chemistry and chemical biology building

Building will be completed in Autumn 2016 as university celebrates 250th anniversary

Breaking ground for the new chemistry and chemical biology building are, from left, Allison Faig, chemistry and chemical biology graduate student; Richard Edwards, Chancellor, Rutgers-New Brunswick and EVP for academic affairs; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; Rutgers President Robert Barchi; Richard Falk, Acting Executive Dean, School of Arts and Sciences; and Michael Haibach, chemistry and chemical biology graduate student. Pic courtesy of Larry Levanti

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rutgers University President Robert Barchi marked the start of a new era of science education and research as they joined with state officials and members of the university to break ground for the new home of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB).

The four-storey, 145,000ft2 facility will provide teaching, laboratory and support space that will enable the US university to expand and accelerate its research into drug design, alternative energy, biomaterials and nanotechnology. It is expected to be completed in Autumn 2016, when Rutgers will celebrate its 250th anniversary.

The US$115m project is funded largely by the 2012 Building Our Future Bond Act.

The new classrooms and labs are key to enhancing the high quality science education at Rutgers. More than 5,000 Rutgers students take chemistry courses each semester. In addition, the CCB building will allow the university to build upon its tradition of collaborative research with leading academic labs, government organisations and private industry in New Jersey and around the world.

This remarkable new building befits a premier research institution

'This remarkable new building befits a premier research institution,' said Barchi. 'Rutgers ranks first among US universities in federal funding for chemical research. Our chemistry and chemical biology faculty are world leaders in discovery and innovation, and our students go on to successful and distinguished careers in the pharmaceutical, chemical and healthcare industries in New Jersey and beyond.'

Core facilities in the CCB building will include a microscopy suite, a Class 100 chemistry cleanroom as well as optical spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography laboratories. The facility’s modular design and versatile infrastructure will allow reconfiguration of labs and classrooms to respond as technology evolves and the needs of students and faculty change. Common areas are designed to promote collaboration.

The new building will be located adjacent to the Wright-Rieman Chemistry Complex on the Busch Campus. The first building in the complex was opened in the late 1940s and additional facilities were built in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the last decade, 75% of Rutgers’ peer institutions have invested in new chemistry facilities. The CCB building will enable Rutgers to compete better for top-notch faculty and the best and brightest students.

The research at the new CCB building will be matched by the cutting-edge sustainability features of the building itself. Besides conforming to New Jersey energy mandates and guidelines, Rutgers seeks to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the building by reducing its energy usage. Numerous green features are designed into the project, including windows that maximise natural light and manage heat gain, advanced air handling and exhaust systems, construction materials made with a significant percentage of recycled content, and native vegetation to encourage biodiversity and reduce the need for irrigation.

Companies