Sharing the Spotlight: The Collaborative Life Sciences Building/OHSU Skourtes Tower in Portland, Ore.

June 16, 2015
Three education institutions--Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University and Oregon State University--collaborated to build this $295 million, 650,000-square-foot complex.

The Collaborative Life Sciences Building/Skourtes Tower, the result of a partnership among Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University and Oregon State University, has received an honorable mention for delivery process excellence from the American Institute of Architects as part of the Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Innovation Awards.

The team that designed the $295 million project estimated that its all-digital planning process cut project costs by nearly $10 million. 

The TAP Innovation Awards are part of the AIA's efforts to highlight projects that use building information model (BIM) technology and processes to enhance design and construction.

The 650,000-square-foot Collaborative Life Sciences Building/Skourtes Tower opened in 2014 near downtown Portland. The project consists of a 12-story north tower, a five-story south tower and an atrium circulation area--a total of 650,000 square feet of medical research laboratories, academic teaching laboratories, medical simulation education spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and lecture halls, retail spaces, a two-level below-grade parking garage and academic support amenities.

The upper five stories of the north tower contain the relocated Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry. The south tower houses the relocated Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Also situated in the south tower is a clinical healthcare simulation program with exam and procedure rooms.

The project, designed by SERA Architects and CO Architects, had 28 design teams in 10 states collaborating on plans, the AIA noted, and the use of building information modeling and three-dimensional modeling help participants coordinate their efforts and communicate effectively with one another.

In addition to its extensive use of BIM and other technologies, the project emphasized sustainability and environmentally friendly design. It has received a LEED platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for its energy-conscious design and construction.