Project Profile: University of Central Florida Research I

January 23, 2019

From Building Central Florida magazine, January/February 2019 edition, featuring CPPI’s University of Central Florida Research I project:

January marks one year since the University of Central Florida’s Research I Building opened its doors to UCF faculty and colleagues from various colleges and centers. Together with architect Ponikvar & Associates and engineer of-record Moses & Associates, construction manager Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) completed the 109,575 square foot building near the end of 2017. The facility is strategically placed on campus and is surrounded by other innovation facilities, including Engineering and the College of Optics and Photonics.

Research I represents a large step in UCF’s mission to establish itself as one of the country’s top research universities. The project is a three-story research building that houses 78 labs, eight lab-support rooms, 75 office spaces, and includes over 6,500 square feet of conference and collaboration space. CPPI and UCF worked to ensure that the health and safety of faculty, students, and staff working within Research I was the first priority. CPPI installed 52 fume hoods for safe ventilation in lab rooms, and various facility features meet safety criteria well above standard code requirements.

Faculty, students, and staff at Research I complete work in nanoscience technology, advanced materials processing and analysis, lasers and photonics, and energy research. Research I also houses the Faculty Cluster Initiative, UCF’s group of 50 faculty members focused on solving today’s toughest scientific and societal challenges through teaching and research. Prior to the completion of Research I, many UCF research staff members were working in rented space off campus at Central Florida Research Park. The completion of Research I has unified the research teams in a one centrally located building on campus.

Research I’s steel structure is clad with an elegant combination of curtain wall, brick, aluminum panels, and architectural precast panels. The building blends well with the surrounding architecture, yet exudes a 21st century aesthetic.

The structure was designed and constructed to accommodate two Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) rooms that house multi-million dollar electron microscopes. These rooms were built with 36-inch thick concrete slabs in order to eliminate background noise and ground level vibration, which is critical to the functionality of the

The labs were also equipped with an air monitoring system that provides UCF with sustained energy savings by optimizing ventilation rates through its intelligent measurement solutions. The system tests the air in the labs every 30 seconds and if no particulates or volatile organic compounds are detected, the required air changes per hour are reduced from six to three,
saving UCF up to 50 percent in HVAC energy costs.

This project was made truly special by the close and collaborative relationship between UCF, CPPI, Ponikvar & Associates, Moses & Associates, and various trade partners. This collaboration allowed the team to deliver a substantially technical project on time and under budget.

Interior Specialties provided the motorized shading system that covers windows in the Spectroscopy and Focused Ion Beam labs, as well as in the conference rooms for the UCF Research Project. The shading system chosen includes double motorized shades, providing both solar and blackout shading. Interior Specialties was proud to contribute to the project. The company has completed more than 30 projects on the UCF Campus.

Research I provides the infrastructure, atmosphere, and culture that UCF interdisciplinary research teams have long awaited. UCF plans to utilize its new resources to begin collaborations and programs in research, technology transfer, and commercialization. This much needed research space is helping UCF bridge the gap between the development of technology and the commercialization of technology for sale and use. Commercialization of new technology drives economic development not only for UCF, but across the region and state of Florida.

Research I is the winner of an ABC Eagle Award for excellence in construction, as well as a Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) Gold Award for project leadership. The building also attained LEED Gold Certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

“UCF staff have been planning an interdisciplinary research facility for a decade. It was our pleasure at CPPI to deliver a functional and beautiful lab space that executed their vision of bringing UCF researchers and disciplines together on campus,” said CPPI Vice President/Principal Jason Morgan.