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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Celebrates Opening of New Tower

OMRF_Research_Tower_-_Grand_OpeningState-of-the-Art Laboratories, Sustainable Design Boost OMRF Expansion Campaign

OKLAHOMA CITY — Global design firm Perkins+Will celebrates the opening of its latest completed facility, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s (OMRF) new 186,000-square-foot research tower. The facility, which is the largest expansion in OMRF’s 65-year history, is an eight-floor building featuring state-of-the-art laboratories and several innovative energy management technologies.


“With state-of-the-art labs and unique ‘green’ features, this tower is the centerpiece of an expansion campaign that’s bringing new scientists to OMRF from across the nation and around the world,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. The facility is home to dozens of new laboratories, including the Samuel Roberts Noble Cardiovascular Institute and the OMRF Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence, which is a clinic that will treat thousands of people suffering from MS.

With more LEED® Accredited Professionals than any design firm in North America, Perkins+Will’s design reflects OMRF’s commitment to sustainability and health of the local community from the inside out. Key sustainable features include wind turbines, two green roofs, efficiencies in water usage and the mechanical systems, natural daylighting and the use of regional recycled materials and resources throughout the facility.

The green features will save the equivalent of 44,000 gallons of gasoline each year and cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2 million pounds. The facility is also tracking to receive a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold rating with financial paybacks in less than five years.

As industry leaders in the science and technology sector, Perkins+Will also conceived the research tower design from an innovative “pinwheel” floor plan concept, a unique and different approach to the usual research facility layout. Cut by four deep slots that bring light and views well into the central core, the facility is divided into four distinct blocks with each block shifting vertically to accommodate the program above and below. This provides unique character and identity to the individual research labs, which include an open laboratory, support labs, Principle Investigator offices and teaming areas. The “pinwheel” also allows for increased communication, collaboration and more square footage where labs need it most, open lab and office areas.

“Perkins+Will is committed to challenging our staff, consultants, and each client to think beyond the scorecard and to construct buildings that are the first of their kind for the next generation to support energy efficiency as well as research,” said Daniel D. Watch, AIA, Perkins+Will Principal and Science + Technology Global Market Leader.

The new facility is expected to further enhance the high OMRF scientific achievements in understanding and developing more effective treatments for human disease, focusing on such critical research areas as heart disease, cancer, lupus and Alzheimer’s disease. It will also fuel additional private-sector growth in Oklahoma’s biotechnology industry, assist with economic recovery, and solidify the importance of keeping the United States competitive in the growing, international research market.

About Perkins+Will
Established in 1935, Perkins+Will (perkinswill.com) is an integrated design firm serving clients from offices in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Research Triangle Park, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, DC. The firm practices architecture, interiors, branded environments, planning + strategies, Preservation + Adaptive Reuse, and urban design for clients in the aviation + transit, corporate + commercial + civic, healthcare, higher education, K-12 education, science + technology and Sports + Recreation markets. Perkins+Will routinely ranks among the world’s top design firms and has received hundreds of awards, including the prestigious American Institute of Architects’ “Firm of the Year Award.”

Social responsibility has been a driving philosophy at Perkins+Will since the firm’s beginnings in 1935. The firm has committed to the 1% Solution through Public Architecture, promising to donate time pro bono to non-profit organizations in need of design services. With more LEED® Accredited Professionals than any design firm in North America, Perkins+Will is recognized as one of the preeminent sustainable design firm in the country. Perkins+Will was the first multi-office company to commit to the 2030 Challenge, in which the firm has pledged that all of their projects be designed to carbon neutrality by the year 2030.

About OMRF
Chartered in 1946, OMRF (omrf.org) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human diseases. OMRF fosters a worldwide reputation for excellence by following an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to medical research. Home to Oklahoma’s only Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and with more than 600 U.S. and international patents, OMRF ranks among the nation’s leaders in patents per scientist.

Note: Photo courtesy of Perkins+Will

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Posted April 20, 2011

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