01:35 PM - 02:00 PM
18 September 2020

Science on Display: The University of Michigan Biological Sciences Building

Characterized by a transparent, open-lab concept, the Biological Sciences Building (BSB) spurs unprecedented collaboration among the biological sciences, supporting world-class investigations and attracting talented researchers and students. Biological sciences have long been part of the University of Michigan, but as the programs evolved independently, they split into separate departments and buildings on campus. The university recognized that re-uniting the various biology departments within one building would be advantageous to both academics and advanced research, offering new avenues for more engaging, collaborative study. The facility also houses the institution’s widely popular Museum of Natural History, increasing the public’s exposure to the biological sciences and the important work occurring at the University of Michigan. The building contains “neighborhoods” of compatible sciences that share open labs, flexible work spaces, and equipment—increasing collaboration, eliminating costly duplication, and preserving space for future needs. With its atriums and open labs, the BSB is uncommonly transparent for a research facility, and subtly suggests that science is unfolding in front of you as one moves deeper into the space.


  • Andrea Reynolds, SE, PE, MIStrctE, LEED AP


  • Xin Zong, PE, SmithGroup
  • Talese Yensch, PE LEED AP, SmithGroup
  • Patrick McBride, LC, SmithGroup