SOURCE: SmithGroup


July 14, 2011 16:29 ET

New Research Facility Opens at Virginia Tech

SmithGroup-Designed Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science II Will Expand Research Activity for University

BLACKSBURG, VA--(Marketwire - Jul 14, 2011) - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University recently opened the doors to the new $24 million Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) II in Blacksburg, Virginia. The project marks a milestone in the University's long-term strategy to become a leading research institution.

Constructed in the University's Life Sciences District, the SmithGroup-designed ICTAS II to support and promote cutting edge research at the intersection of engineering and the sciences -- physical, life and social. The three-story, 42,190-square-foot facility includes state-of-the-art laboratories for high-impact interdisciplinary research, lab support, faculty offices, and collaboration areas. Also included is workspace reserved primarily for research faculty and postdoctoral appointments.

The laboratories will support applied and fundamental studies in several interdisciplinary areas, including applied environmental biochemistry, fluvial processes, a global laboratory for bio-inspired science and technology, nanobiology, nonlinear imaging and spectroscopy, organic nanostructures, pathogen ecology, pipeline corrosion and the humanoid hospital.

"Virginia Tech has long been committed to advancing the frontiers of knowledge and promoting economic development while enhancing the educational experiences of its students," says Christie Thompson, PE, Associate Director for Administration and Finance for ICTAS. "The SmithGroup-designed ICTAS II project will further strengthen our ability to enable and engage students in cutting-edge research across the arenas of engineering, science, biology, and the humanities."

According to David Johnson, AIA, LEED AP, the project's lead designer from SmithGroup's Durham, North Carolina office, "The University's design goal was to create a collaborative setting that will stimulate creativity, a place where intellectual frontiers can be explored and concepts previously researched in isolation can be integrated."

SmithGroup's design offered a modern interpretation of Virginia Tech's trademark Collegiate Gothic style and provided unique opportunities to implement a range of environmentally responsible building practices. ICTAS II incorporates green elements including a rain garden, recycled and low-emitting materials, and a heat recovery system. The facility is targeted to achieve LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Completed in early 2011, the project was designed by SmithGroup's Durham office. Engineering services were provided by the firm's Washington DC office. JJR, SmithGroup's sister landscape design firm, provided landscape design services. Skanska USA Building Inc. served as the general contractor for the CM at Risk venture.

SmithGroup, Inc. ( ranks as one of the nation's largest architecture and engineering firms, and is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the learning, workplace, healthcare and science & technology markets. The firm recently placed #1 for design quality based on design awards won, and #2 overall in Architect magazine's Architect 50 ranking. With 343 LEED Accredited Professionals and 67 LEED certified projects, SmithGroup is a national leader in sustainable, environmentally intelligent design. Follow SmithGroup on Facebook at

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