Integrating Function, Technology and Nature

School of Medicine Research Building

University of California, Riverside

The School of Medicine Research Building was designed in order to attract and retain senior research faculty for the University’s new medical school. Design goals for the building sought to provide highly efficient, flexible research lab space that would exceed the energy savings of typical research labs.


60,000 sf


Riverside, CA

Year Complete




2012 Lab of the Year Award, Sustainability Special Mention — R&D Magazine

2012 Project of the Year for New Construction, Higher Education Category

2012 Sustainable Design and Innovation Award — Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful

2012 Merit Award — IES National Illumination Awards

2012 Honorable Mention Award, Education Category — IIDA Portland

2011 Merit Award — AIA Portland Architecture Awards

2011 Award of Citation — Savings by Design Energy Efficiency Integration Awards

2011 Best Overall Sustainable Design Award — California Higher Education Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Best Practice Awards

The School of Medicine Research Building represents a new gold standard in lab buildings in the University of California system and has been recognized for best design practices in sustainability. In every aspect from its extraordinary target in energy savings for a research lab, to flexibility of program space, to creature comforts of 80% daylighting without harsh glare this project has set a new direction for labs on the campus at UC Riverside. Don W. Caskey, FAIA, Former Associate Vice Chancellor and Campus Architect

Not a Traditional Lab Building

The School of Medicine Research Building at the University of California-Riverside provides research and office facilities for the University’s new medical school. The 3-story building is LEED Gold certified and the facility achieved the Architecture 2030 Challenge 2010 target of 60% reduction in site energy over the benchmark building. Carefully integrating function, technology and nature, the design team raised the bar in developing creative research environments that respond to both stringent research environment demands and occupant needs for natural light and indoor air quality.

An Open, Light‑Filled Interior

All occupied spaces in the building have access to daylight and most have views of the natural environment surrounding the project. The intentionally restrained material and color palette of the interior provides a quiet backdrop to this indoor-outdoor connection. Laboratory and office environments feature a generous sense of space and natural light, with 14-foot-high, exposed flat slab ceilings. The durable, exposed concrete structure is complimented by a warm aesthetic through carefully crafted wood elements. All areas feature 9-foot-high, sliding wood sunscreens designed for individual control of light and glare. Additional wood features include fixed wall panels and floating ceiling “clouds” which lend design continuity, warmth, and scale to the adaptable work spaces. At the lab suites, the notable absence of intervening doors encourages the fluid circulation of personnel and materials.