The 467,000 gross sq.-ft. campus for Novartis (GNF/NIFG) included six-buildings on 16 acres with a multi-story subterranean garage. Among the institute buildings are a central distribution plant; a building to house administrative staff, the facility's computers, a kitchen, cafeteria, auditorium and an atrium that overlooks the canyons; and three research/laboratory buildings. The sixth structure, a cold shell with no interior buildout, will serve as expansion space along with two future building pads.
The institute's design took full advantage of the site and is highlighted with a 1,000-ft.-long garage that serpentines along an adjacent street. The garage abuts a similarly curved, trellis covered walkway that connects the six buildings located along its spine. Crews, using large drilled piers to support the structure, excavated a deep utility and maintenance tunnel under the walkway.
The design's two levels of walkways, one below grade and one at grade, give GNF employees the ability to circulate through, meet in and access any level of any building with ease. The tunnel is a serviceway for the telecommunication and utilities infrastructure.
Labs, being as systems-oriented as they are, see 40 to 50 percent of construction costs go into state-of-the-art electrical and mechanical systems. Operational costs are fairly high because of the nature of the systems, but if labs are not working, scientists can't do research in a safe environment.
Crews had to haul away 110,000 cubic yards of soil, while storing 20,000 cubic yards onsite.