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Perkins+Will Designs Largest Neuroscience Facility in the United States

Architecture and design firm completes Phase II of the John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will announces the completion of Phase II of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center. Located on the western edge of NIH's Bethesda, Maryland campus, the 320,000 square foot research center is comprised of ten different institutes including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Working together scientists will further groundbreaking discoveries and medical advancements impacting neuroscience research globally.

The atrium of the National Institutes of Health's John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center (Phase II), designed by Perkins Will, a super-green facility that opened in March to support scientific innovation and meet new U.S. energy standards. Photo courtesy of Perkins Will / ©Alain Jaramillo

"This project is one of the first to address President Obama's federal initiative for more energy efficient buildings," said Principal and Science and Technology Global Market Leader Dan Watch, AIA, LEED AP. "The project is designed with the latest and best technology to be highly energy efficient."

A variety of innovative sustainability features were integrated into the facility including geothermal wells; ground source heat pumps; chilled beams; LED lights; and a photovoltaic array which augments energy generation and usage. The research center is also home to a technologically advanced MRI suite, the first of its kind in the world, which is capable of providing high resolution imaging.

"The project's design intent was to create a welcoming and efficient environment that supports innovation and discovery," said Principal and Design Director Manuel Cadrecha, AIA, LEED AP.

The project team designed spaces that encourage collaboration and communication; utilize flexible laboratory architecture that can change over time; and accommodate diverse research approaches from cell culture to computer science. The second phase of the project is inextricably linked with the first phase, completed in 2004, and together they encompass the largest neuroscience facility in the United States and fulfill the original vision of a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary biomedical research facility. The Perkins+Will project team worked closely with notable scientists throughout the programming and design phases of the project and prioritized their specific need for a highly customized and flexible work environment.

"In order to meet the needs of these groups, our team maximized strategic laboratory adjacencies and shared equipment zones to form synergies between cooperative research initiatives," said Managing Principal Jeffrey Welter, Associate AIA, LEED AP, PMP. "We designed the research center to attract and retain the finest scientific talent. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with an institute that will undoubtedly make impactful discoveries and great strides in the fields of medicine and research."

Perkins+Will neuroscience projects currently underway include the Allen Institute for Brain Science Headquarters Building in Seattle, Washington and Wright State University's Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building in Dayton, Ohio. Previous projects by the firm include Texas Children's Hospital's Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute in Houston, Texas; St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona; the Society for Neuroscience Headquarters in Washington, DC; and the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona in Orlando, FL.

About Perkins+Will

Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935 and founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities. Each of the firm's 24 offices focuses on local, regional and global work in a variety of practice areas. With hundreds of award-winning projects annually, Perkins+Will is ranked as one of the top global design firms. Perkins+Will is recognized as one of the industry's preeminent sustainable design firms due to its innovative research, design tools, and expertise. The firm's 1,500 professionals are thought leaders developing 21st century solutions to inspire the creation of spaces in which clients and their communities work, heal, live, and learn. Social responsibility is a fundamental aspect of Perkins+Will's culture and every year the company donates 1% of its design services to pro bono initiatives. For more information, visit

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