University of Minnesota Biomedical Discovery District

ArchKey’s Integrated Approach Paves Way for Groundbreaking Cardiovascular & Cancer Research Facility

Our team collaborated with the University of Minnesota to construct a new 288,500-square-foot research facility dedicated to cardiovascular and cancer studies. This state-of-the-art building features chemistry and biology laboratories, lab support areas, shared instrumentation spaces, meeting and office areas, food service facilities, and an animal holding area enhanced with natural lighting. It also includes a Vivarium space designed to mimic natural habitats for housed animals. Additionally, the project encompassed the construction of a separate campus chiller plant to service this and other buildings on the campus.

The Biomedical Discovery District is the result of a $292 million funding program approved by the State of Minnesota, bringing over 1,200 scientists and researchers together to collaborate in state-of-the-art facilities to find cures and treatments for today’s most devastating health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and more. The construction of this new 158,000 square foot new cancer research building and 96,000 square foot Lillehei Heart Research Building position the U of M as a leader in the bioscience industry, allowing researchers to continue their groundbreaking work.

Scope of Work

Our design-build responsibilities encompassed the full installation lifecycle spanning preconstruction planning, site preparation, design engineering, installation, testing and commissioning for all lighting and electrical distribution, including the installation of two new 13.8-volt services, fire alarm systems, and lighting controls. These controls were specifically programmed to replicate natural light cycles in the Vivarium to support the well-being of the animals. Additionally, our Technologies team ensured the security of the space with access control, CCTV and voice data system design, installation, testing and commissioning that included the installation of a dedicated 1.5MW generator.

A significant aspect of this project was the 34,000-square-foot Vivarium, which required precise planning to ensure that all electrical conduits in the interstitial spaces were correctly positioned to converge at key access points. Thanks to our dedicated on-site Building Information Modeling (BIM) team, we meticulously modeled every conduit and managed the underground layouts to minimize the number of conduits running through the Vivarium, ensuring both efficiency and environmental suitability.


, MN

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University of Minnesota Biomedical Discovery District

University of Minnesota Biomedical Discovery District