Michigan State University (MSU) opened the doors to its new Bio Engineering Facility and to new, collaborative research opportunities contributing toward technology transfer to the private sector and the state's emerging bio-based economy. The four-story, 130,000-square-foot research laboratory building is located in the South Academic District in East Lansing, Michigan.

The Bio Engineering Facility's design team included MSU and architectural/engineering consultants Integrated Design Solutions (IDS). A palette of gray, white and black in glass and metal distinguish the new facility from both the traditional red brick of the campus standard and beige of the cast concrete of the more recent structures.

"The color was selected... to somewhat match the color palette and context of the surrounding buildings," explained Jeff Kasdorf, MSU's Infrastructure Planning and Facilities' design representative. "We did not, however, want to replicate the precast concrete or metal panel that was used in the adjacent facilities."

IDS Senior Associate and Project Architect, Kevin S. Marshall, AIA, LEED® BD+C, agreed, "The facility had to blend into the campus, tie into its surroundings, but also stand out as its own destination."

Essential to the building's aesthetic and function, Tubelite Inc. provided the Bio Engineering Facility's curtainwall and entrance systems. Linetec finished all of Tubelite's aluminum framing in Valspar's Fluropon® coating systems in Bone White.

"Getting the white just right was important," emphasized Marshall. "We wanted the white of the curtainwall and the metal panels to match. We didn't want one to look dingy or dirty compared to the other."

"Utilizing the latest technologies to analyze and formulate thousands of color variations ensures creation of the exact color specified," said Linetec's Senior Marketing Specialist, Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate. "Valspar's Fluropon coatings offer the ultimate protection in building performance and lasting color."

Valspar's premium Fluropon systems are comprised of 70% polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) proprietary resins for field-proven, exterior quality finishes that meet or exceed the American Architectural Manufacturers Association's standard, AAMA 2605 high-performance exterior specification. Fluropon demonstrates reliable performance, including resistance to harmful ultraviolet rays, chemical degradation, abrasions and humidity. Durable finishes contribute to the project's longevity and reduce the need for maintenance throughout its life cycle.

Linetec's practices also safely capture and destroy the VOCs present in liquid paints at the factory before arrival on the building site to support green building goals, such as MSU's sustainability guidelines. Further contributing to green campus projects, the aluminum used to produce Tubelite systems was extruded using EcoLuminum™, a high recycled-content aluminum billet composition.

Faculty from the College of Engineering, College of Human Medicine and the College of Natural Science are the primary occupants of the building. Additional interdepartmental benefits are anticipated as the Bio Engineering Facility is physically connected to the Clinical Center C-wing, and the Life Science B-wing, and is adjacent to the Radiology buildings.