University of Nebraska Medical Center – Durham Research Center I

The nationally recognized University of Nebraska Medical Center is the only publicly funded medical research institution in Nebraska. To continue advancing its mission, UNMC sought to build a new facility that would provide the most cutting-edge technology, a dynamic architectural design, and attract internationally recognized researchers to the campus. This contract was executed under the CM at Risk delivery method.

The UNMC Durham Research Center I is a 289,000 square-foot, state-of-the art research facility on the west end of the UNMC campus. The building is 10 levels tall, with 8 levels above ground and two levels below. The facility includes 116 research laboratories, 47 tissue culture rooms, 20 instrument rooms, 7 walk-in cold rooms, 18 freezer rooms, 7 dark rooms, 4 imaging rooms, two Biosafety Level 3 (BL3) laboratory suites. It also includes a 319-seat auditorium, 3 classrooms, 12 conference/seminar rooms, a computer laboratory, and public spaces.

Due to the nature of the experiments conducted within the building, it is critical that vibrations be kept at an absolute minimum. For this reason, the facility was constructed of cast-in-place concrete rather than structural steel. Hawkins mitigated vibrations in several ways, including the construction of a reinforced concrete wide-module joist framing system, and installing custom-designed air handling ductwork in mechanical rooms built with protective walls and floors. The structure is all cast-in-place concrete with brick, aluminum curtain wall and precast concrete on the exterior.

Hawkins worked against a strict deadline to complete the project prior to the donor recognition dinner that was scheduled to be held inside the completed facility. Even when faced with a major setback during construction because of a fire at a large supplier plant (which controlled most of the nation’s supply of piping insulation), our team found an alternative solution to get the project completed as originally scheduled.

The facility has enabled UNMC to enhance its research in many areas including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurosciences, transplantation biology, genetics, and eye research.

Project Details

University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
Omaha, NE
Commercial, Civic, Cultural

"Hawkins Construction Company has been a vital partner in building some of Nebraska's most iconic transportation projects — like the West Dodge elevated expressway and the Interstate 80 six-lane between Omaha and Lincoln. Hawkins’ teams consistently help solve problems on-site, create accurate documents, and minimize unnecessary changes — all at extremely competitive prices.”

Randall D. Peters, P.E.
NDOR Director - State Engineer, 2012 -2015
Associate Professor of Practice - UNL Department of Civil Engineering