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Old Dominion University: Physical Science Building

Higher Education

Old Dominion University: Physical Science Building.

Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University’s new Physical Science Building is a multi-disciplinary graduate research building for the College of Sciences. The building includes program and classroom space for the biology, physics, and chemistry departments. It also includes associated administrative/support functions and connects to the atrium of the existing Oceanography and Physics Building. The laboratories and MEP systems were designed to be modular and flexible so that any future adaptive re-use for varying programs could be easily implemented. The structural frame is designed to resist human impact and mechanical equipment-generated vibration that would affect the sensitive research in the laser labs. The addition of the Physical Science Building creates the base of the new science quad on ODU’s campus, offering high-tech classroom space. Research cores include a Nuclear & Particle Physics Research Facility, Atomic Beams Laboratory, College of Sciences Major Instrumentation Cluster (COMIC), and Marine Aquatics Physiological Ecology Laboratory. 

This project began with a study to assess department needs and determine a precise location for the building. Meetings with various deans, facilities management, and department heads were conducted to determine space requirements. A space program was then developed and confirmed, field research and site surveys were performed, and code research and studies were conducted. Based on the information gathered, RRMM prepared a final study detailing programmatic needs, a detailed space program, and a building massing diagram. The study formed the basis of the project, which RRMM was then contracted to design.