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WORCESTER, MASS. — Construction of a state-of-the-art biomedical research and education facility on the University of Massachusetts Medical School campus in Worcester, which will serve as the centerpiece of the state’s life sciences initiative, is complete. Suffolk Construction Co. built the $400 million Albert Sherman Center, a 512,000-square-foot development.

The new facility effectively doubles the medical school’s research capacity. The LEED-Gold certified Albert Sherman Center serves as the hub of the Worcester campus, physically connecting to existing buildings with landscaped exterior plazas and two elevated pedestrian bridges.

The development stands 11 stories high, with nine occupied floors topped by a two-story mechanical penthouse. The facility features research laboratories, six learning community centers, a 350-seat auditorium, conference rooms, a full-service café and dining area, and a fitness center.

Designed by ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge Inc., the interdisciplinary, research and education facility was created to maximize collaboration among researchers, educators and students to encourage innovation and learning across disciplines.

The project also included construction of a nearby 1,411-space, seven-level parking garage. According to Suffolk Construction, a key component to delivering the project on time and within budget was its use of building information modeling, or BIM.

BIM is a new way of approaching the design and documentation of building projects, according to Bentley Systems Inc., a software solutions provider. All information about the building and its life cycle are taken into account in the modeling process.

The Suffolk project team recently joined Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins, UMass President Robert Caret and other dignitaries to celebrate the grand opening of the Sherman Center.

The University of Massachusetts Building Authority owns the Sherman Center, and PMA Consultants served as the owner’s project manager. The project received $90 million in funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. Construction began in April 2010.

Headquartered in Boston, Suffolk Construction has annual revenues of $2 billion. The privately held company provides preconstruction, construction management, design-build, and general contracting services to clients in the healthcare, science and technology, education, federal government, and commercial sectors.

— Matt Valley

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