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Special Features Make Nursing Building Unique

The $57 million, eight-floored building already has won the Citation of Honor from the American Institute of Architects-Houston for its environmentally responsible features.

"This will be the first free-standing facility the UT Health Science Center has built in its 32-year history," said campus architect Rives Taylor. "This also is a 'sustainable' or 'green' building--an approach embodying technology, human interaction, a healthful learning and working environment assembled in a building that is also a good steward in its construction and daily use of the resources of the State of Texas."

Encompassing 195,160 gross square feet of space, the new School of Nursing building was designed by Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell Architects (BNIM), a Kansas City, MO firm with a history of distinction in designing green buildings. BNIM worked in partnership with Lake/Flato Architects Inc. of San Antonio, recipients of the 2004 AIA Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architects.

"Design of such a facility required seeking best practices from a wide source of institutional projects across the U.S., using some building strategies not yet seen in Houston or in most of Texas," Taylor said. "Plus, the site is surrounded on all sides by busy streets, hospitals, parking buildings, teaching facilities--so, construction has been like threading a needle."