Health Sciences Education Building, Phoenix Biomedical Campus

  • Location:

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • Client:

    Arizona Board of Regents

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:


  • Year Completed:


  • Specialties:

    Higher Education, Laboratories

Features & Highlights

  • BIM-enabled design and construction of intricate copper cladding, which emulates the Grand Canyon, makes for the building’s iconic, one-of-a-kind look
  • Opened 26 days early to accommodate The University of Arizona's schedule
Project Overview

The 268,000-square-foot, six-story Health Sciences Education Building is part of the 28-acre Phoenix Biomedical Campus and was constructed by Sundt with joint venture partner DPR Construction. It houses the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, College of Pharmacy, and the Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, as well as Northern Arizona University’s College of Health and Human Services. The facility features administrative offices, lecture halls, learning studios, classrooms, clinical skills suites and various support spaces. Its classrooms contain state-of-the-art audio/visual technology, and its small group seminar rooms support the latest best practices in instructional methods.

Despite a 20% reduction in budget, the team delivered a high level of construction systems and materials, such as the complex building skin – a high-quality combination of copper paneling, curtain wall, and block. Through a series of intense work sessions, virtual and physical mock-ups, and weekly model exchanges during design, the team achieved aesthetic approvals, leak tested on-site and made necessary adjustments for final design.

Using BIM and working closely with the architect and key trades, we achieved cost goals that were 48% less than the original estimate for the building’s exterior. We were able to optimize panel configuration to create the appearance of a naturally occurring random pattern, while utilizing only 13 panel types, all modeled, located, and scheduled in Revit. Using BIM was also pragmatic in saving money with quicker quantity take-offs, enabling early copper procurement ahead of a project increase in material costs.

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“Not only is the Health Sciences Education Building an impressive architectural icon for the city and state, but it is a fundamentally essential building block to creating a better future for the health of Arizonans. This building is a defining example of cooperation, collaboration and integration for education, healthcare, and research and development.”

Rick Myers, Chair, Arizona Board of Regents


Awards & Accolades

2014 1st Place Façade Award, World Architecture News

2015 Named one of the most beautiful research labs in the world,

2015 Education Facility Design Award of Excellence, AIA Committee for Architecture in Education

2013 Most Challenging Project, Arizona Commercial Real Estate Development (RED) Award, AZRE Magazine

2013 North American Copper in Architecture, Copper Development Association

2013 Best of LA Architects Award, Los Angeles Business Council

2013 Merit Award for Architectural Design, American Institute of Architects – Arizona

2013 Honor Award for Architectural Design, American Institute of Architects – California Council

2013 Citation “Next LA”, American Institute of Architects – Los Angeles

2013 Best Project – Higher Education/Research, Engineering News Record Magazine Southwest

2013 Award of Merit – Buildings and Structures, Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence

2013 Stellar Architecture Using BIM, AIA Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Building Information Model Awards

2013 Design Award – Natural Metal Category, Metal Architecture (Magazine)

2013 North American Copper in Architecture, Copper Development Association