Cost: $82 million (construction); $101.2 million (total project)

Size: 94,000 gsf; 46,000 nsf

Project Team: Wilson Architects (architect), Whiting-Turner (construction manager); WSP Group USA (mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineer), LeMessurier Consultants Inc. (structural engineer), VAV International Inc. (fire protection), Nitsch Engineering (civil engineer/site survey), Towers | Golde (landscape architect), MoharDesign LLC (interior design), HLB Lighting Design (lighting design), Jensen Hughes (code consulting)

Description: The Physical Sciences Building (PSB) is a new research laboratory for the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The facility supports scientific discovery in discovery in the fields of materials science, condensed matter and nuclear physics, and organic and inorganic chemistry. It contains state-of-the-art, high bay physics research labs, synthetic chemistry research labs, extensive core support labs, offices, student work areas and collaboration space. Housing 20 faculty-led research groups with a total of 130 bench positions, the PSB is a pivotal part of the school’s Comprehensive Science and Engineering Masterplan.

Located at the heart of the UMass Amherst campus, the PSB will create a new “Physical Science District.” The design physically connects the PSB to the historic West Experiment Station (WES),

the Goessmann Chemistry Laboratory and the Lederle Graduate Research Center. The bridge and tunnel connections to these buildings enable sharing of resources between research groups and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration. The PSB is a pivotal part of the UMass Amherst’s long-term strategy to improve science and engineering facilities.

The project includes recreation of the West Experiment Station (WES), a 19th century research laboratory and one of the University’s oldest buildings. The original WES was structurally unsound due to weak mortar in the building’s structural bearing walls. To save the building, the project dismantled the WES, salvaged its exterior red brick and brown stone, and re-created the building’s 1890s appearance atop a new fireproof steel skeleton.

PSB is anticipating LEED Gold certification.

Completion date: March 2018

Contact: Jacob Werner, Project Architect, 617-338-1838,

Photography Credit: © Anton Grassl Photography