UF College of Veterinary Medicine Clinical Skills Lab wins statewide building group award

The UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s Clinical Skills Laboratory building addition received the top overall state award in the education category of the Florida Chapter of the Design-Build Institute’s annual awards competition.

The competition evaluates design and building quality, safety, cost, sustainability, teaming performance and the project’s success from development to procurement to execution, according to the competition’s call for entries.

“This project was an example of design-build at its best and it wasn’t because everything went smoothly and without a hitch,” said David Wood, a project manager with UF’s Planning, Design and Construction Division. “There were many challenges related to the ongoing operation of the college and issues with laboratory equipment, as an example. It was the way the team worked together and committed to the client’s needs that that made this complex project a success.”

The $4.8 million three-story addition was designed and built by locally based Oelrich Construction, Walker Architects, Affiliated Engineers and Structural Engineers Group. It includes an immersive teaching laboratory, infectious diseases/pathology research laboratory and a mechanical penthouse. Integrated sustainability concepts include reduced energy consumption through energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, sourcing of regional and low-impact construction materials with recycled content, and providing outdoor views to over 90 percent of the office/clinic spaces.

Completed in August 2015, the lab is equipped with advanced simulation technologies used to teach veterinary students and faculty best practices for techniques such as tying sutures, inserting IV catheters, drawing blood samples and identifying parasites. The additional research and mechanical space was completed later that year.

In April 2017, the space received a LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which rates building sustainability on categories such as indoor environmental air quality, design innovation and energy efficiency.

“Our new LEED gold clinical skills lab building addition artfully balances form and function,” said UF College of Veterinary Medicine Director John Haven. “The facility provides a high-quality research space worthy of UF’s first National Academy of Sciences member Dr. Roy Curtiss, and an extraordinary teaching and simulation lab, which has already been visited by several colleges as a model for teaching students veterinary skills prior to interaction with live animals.”

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