UW Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building

Creating Spaces Conducive to Study and Practice

The new five story, 90,300 square foot Molecular Engineering & Sciences Building was completed for the University of Washington in the spring of 2012.  Heralded as the nation’s largest molecular engineering building, it was constructed to service 175 students and faculty.  This $78.5 million facility houses bioengineering, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science and chemistry, which were previously using separate facilities across the campus, allowing for greater collaboration between disciplines.  The building features instrumentation labs, research labs, offices, and conference rooms.


This building required coordination for interior acoustical treatments with the architect which focuses on state-of-the-art materials and assemblies, and mechanical noise control for the natural ventilation and exhaust systems.  All of these efforts were coordinated with the university’s own siting experts.


SSA provided architectural acoustical design and mechanical noise control for the building.  To address excess noise from the air handling and exhaust systems, noise was considered as part of the holistic design.  This included equipment selection and system layout.  The project focused on efficient and healthy noise control solutions, including the use of perforated metal as a tuned duct liner.

Client History:

ZGF Architects is a design firm with a focus on architecture, interior design and urban design.  Founded 70 years ago in Portland, Oregon, ZGF has grown to include over 470 employees and additional offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, and New York.  ZGF’s design philosophy is centered on the premise that design excellence should be reflected in each and every aspect of a building, including cost.  We enjoyed supporting ZGF on this project and Providence Alaska Medical Center, named one of the most beautiful hospitals in the world.