Coca-Cola president’s $400m gift allows advanced biomedical research building in Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia’s Emory University broke ground yesterday on a state-of-the-art biomedical research building it hopes will join the global vanguard of medical research centres.

The eight-floor, 346,000 sq ft facility is part-funded by a $400m gift from the Robert W Woodruff Foundation, beneficiary of the estate of Robert Woodruff, philanthropist and president of The Coca-Cola Company from 1923 to 1955.

Half that gift funds this new Health Sciences Research Building II (HSRB II), with the other $200m going to fund Emory’s newest cancer facility, which broke ground in November at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Designed by HOK, and constructed by JE Dunn Construction, HSRB II will have six storeys above ground and two below, with spaces for researching imaging sciences, biomedical engineering, immunotherapeutics and other interdisciplinary research themes.

"HSRB II is in the vanguard of new biomedical research buildings, such as the Francis Crick Institute in London, creating a remarkable work environment, connectivity and synergy – open labs and workspaces with soft barriers – to facilitate discovery of the biology underlying human health," said David Stephens, MD, vice president of research for the university’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center. 

Construction is slated to begin in January 2020, with a targeted completion date of April 2022.

The design is aiming for LEED Gold certification upon completion.

Among its environmental features are occupancy sensors for interior lighting control, automated shades for limiting heat gain and glare control, and a solar panel array, and a green roof plaza. 

Image: Render of Emory University’s HOK-designed Health Sciences Research Building II (Courtesy of Emory University)

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