In the heart of downtown Phoenix, the iconic glass and copper-clad, city of Phoenix-owned College of Nursing and Health Innovation Phase 2 (NHI2) building signaled a new era of innovation and growth for the college as the cornerstone of Arizona State University’s (ASU) newest campus.
The flagship facility has garnered a legion of national and regional awards for its successful design-build approach, unique architecture and sustainable achievements. Designed as a center for study, teaching, learning and healing, the $29.25 million building is a compact five-story, 84,000-sq.-ft. structure containing classrooms, office and administrative spaces, a 200-seat conference center, and a 60-seat computer classroom laboratory.
The NHI2 building serves as the northern gateway to the Phoenix campus and represents a key component of the downtown city of Phoenix development that includes the university campus, a bioscience research center, expanded convention center and light rail. The building is one of a collection of seven structures that thread together a cohesive campus environment.
DPR and SmithGroup designed and built the facility on an aggressive 14-month construction schedule. The team’s approach focused on balancing the various needs of a three-pronged client structure:
- As the owner, the city of Phoenix required an urban building that creates shade and adds to the architectural character of its evolving downtown core.
- ASU wanted an elegant icon on a tight budget.
- The College of Nursing and Health Innovation had need for expansion and brand identity for its high profile college, whose graduate nursing program is ranked in the top 4 percent in the U.S. in peer-rated rankings published this year by U.S. News & World Report.
The marquee structure achieves these goals, providing a strong identity and presence for both ASU and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
Certified as a LEED-NC Gold building, NHI2 was one of the first with the designation in downtown Phoenix. Along with solar water heating, more than three-quarters of the construction waste (967 tons) was diverted from conventional landfills and recycled, and 70 percent of all wood products were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Phoenix has worked hard to build a knowledge-based economy and is proud to expand educational opportunities, especially in an area as critical as healthcare and with a high-caliber partner in ASU. This project also revitalized an underutilized block while adding to the architectural and urban character of downtown Phoenix. The city is also honored by the host of awards garnered by this project that was on-time and on-budget, including its LEED Gold certification.