May 2024

Emory University’s Health Sciences Research Building II

Emory University’s Health Sciences Research Building II (HSRB II) stands as a testament to innovation and collaboration, nestled in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia.  

This architectural marvel, the largest construction contract in the university’s history, promises to pioneer groundbreaking research and medical advancements. Funded by a generous grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, half of which was allocated to Emory’s hospital and the other half to the university, this facility was designed to bring together the best minds in science and medicine. 

The vision for HSRB II began to take shape under the careful planning of Atlanta’s HOK Architects and Boston-based Vanderweil Engineers. Their goal was to create a space that fostered interdisciplinary collaboration by combining the Emory University School of Medicine, Center for Systems Imaging, the Department of Animal Research, and the external research community. This integration allows researchers to develop, test, and evaluate groundbreaking medicines and technologies in a seamless and efficient manner.  

“Essentially, they can conduct the development, implementation, testing and evaluation of medicines all within the same facility,” explained Project Manager, Christopher Rampton. “By engaging multiple departments within the u, and evaluation of medicines all within the same facility,” explained Project Manager university as well as the broader scientific and medical community, this facility establishes Emory University as a world class resource for advancing medicine and improving patient outcomes.” 

Physically, the project posed significant challenges due to its location. The site was surrounded by Emory University’s campus, Emory University Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and an active rail line. “Every corner of the site was a center of activity,” said Rampton. “JE Dunn carefully coordinated all of its work with these stakeholders to make sure that their daily activities were not disrupted.” 

Despite these obstacles, the team’s innovative thinking and meticulous planning allowed construction to proceed smoothly, even through a global pandemic. The safety of the workers and the public at large was paramount. The team even hosted an on-site vaccine drive, resulting in approximately 85 construction workers receiving their vaccinations during the project. 

The building’s design is nothing short of spectacular. It features a six-story atrium with a northwest-facing skylight that bathes the space in natural light. Bridges span the atrium, connecting various research components and fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. The modern design harmonizes with Emory’s aesthetic while standing out as a unique and forward-thinking structure.  

With 6.7 million pounds of reinforcing steel, 1.1 million tons of Portuguese marble, and 31,300 cubic yards of concrete, HSRB II is not just a building but a cornerstone of Emory’s aspiration to rank among the top 10 research universities in the country. This facility is a beacon of hope and innovation, where 1,200 biomedical researchers will tackle some of the biggest human health problems of our time. It represents a significant milestone for JE Dunn as well, showcasing its ability to manage and execute complex, large-scale projects. 

As a new addition to Atlanta’s skyline, HSRB II is more than just an architectural achievement; it is a hub of discovery and a symbol of Emory University’s commitment to improving human health. This trailblazing space, with its state-of-the-art facilities and collaborative environment, is poised to make significant contributions to the fields of oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, and beyond, truly making it a resource for the world.