The Research Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) is an integral part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's $575 million, 1.4 million-sq.-ft. CHP replacement project. The center's design will bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers to confront pediatric healthcare problems in new, more comprehensive ways.

Targeted for Silver LEED certification, this 230,000-sq.-ft. center will house a conference center, a vivarium, and laboratories. The top six floors will house flexible laboratory and common-use support spaces, office space for 66 primary researchers, flexible workstations for up to 700 staff members, conference rooms, and staff lounge areas designed for flexibility of use between researchers and staff teams.

The open laboratory design includes ghost-corridor circulation throughout the lab, which provides a common-use sink zone and access to the equipment/procedure alcoves that support the open workbenches. The extensive use of glass floods the laboratory spaces with natural light and allows users to enjoy views of the Pittsburgh skyline and the Allegheny River below.

The hub of the building will be a state-of-the-art conference center that will serve the entire campus and will be a large part of its main pedestrian circulation system. The auditorium will feature moveable seating for 270, and three additional conference rooms will seat 60 persons each.

The fourth-floor vivarium provides holding rooms, an animal BSL3 lab, and a visioning suite that will house fMRI, mPET, mCT, and ultrasound diagnostic tools.

Project category: Project in progress (May 2008)

Firm: Astorino, (412) 765-1700

Design team: Architecture, Design, Structural Engineering and LEED Integration (Astorino); Laboratory Architecture (Tsoi/Kobus & Associates); Laboratory Planning (GPR Planners Collaborative, Inc.); MEP Engineering (Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, Inc.)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 230,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $348

Total construction cost (excluding land): $80,000,000