The New Biology building at Old Dominion University will be a new facility to serve the teaching and research programs of the Biological Sciences and College of Sciences, and replacing the 40-year-old Mills Godwin Building, an aging faciltiy with low floor to floor heights unsuitable for modern lab mechanical systems. ODU selected the VMDO and Ballinger team to lead the complete design and construction of the new Biology to provide for a diverse, entrepreneurial-minded student population. Located in a flood risk zone at the campus academic core, the resilient facility will be built using deep pile foundations and accounting for flood risk management that moves vital programming above projected base-flood height.

The New Biology building at Old Dominion University will be a new facility to serve the teaching and research programs of the Biological Sciences and College of Sciences, and replacing the 40-year-old Mills Godwin Building, an aging faciltiy with low floor to floor heights unsuitable for modern lab mechanical systems. ODU selected the VMDO and Ballinger team to lead the complete design and construction of the new Biology to provide for a diverse, entrepreneurial-minded student population. Located in a flood risk zone at the campus academic core, the resilient facility will be built using deep pile foundations and accounting for flood risk management that moves vital programming above projected base-flood height.

Rendering of the ODU Biology Building

A complex series of primary programmatic elements include departmental lab/instructional space and research lab space for the Department of Biological Sciences, as well as offices, classrooms, study spaces, and support spaces. The building will also house greenhouse facilities for the Kaplan Orchid Observatory. The proposed facility is an open, bright, transparent complex exploring the intentional collision between students and faculty through shared instrumentation spaces. Laboratory spaces allow for maximum flexibility to easily accommodate shifts in research lab spaces to shrink and grow as necessary with limited impact and resources.

The new facility also supports the intersection of disciplines by blurring the lines between different areas of research, including Biomedical, Environmental, Ecology, Biomolecular, Botanical, and Wetlands. The new home for the Department of Biological Sciences shall, at its core, support a practical education of its students, engaging the current and future problem-solving generations in real group research projects and prompting early skill development beginning at the undergraduate level.

A complex series of primary programmatic elements include departmental lab/instructional space and research lab space for the Department of Biological Sciences, as well as offices, classrooms, study spaces, and support spaces. The building will also house greenhouse facilities for the Kaplan Orchid Observatory. The proposed facility is an open, bright, transparent complex exploring the intentional collision between students and faculty through shared instrumentation spaces. Laboratory spaces allow for maximum flexibility to easily accommodate shifts in research lab spaces to shrink and grow as necessary with limited impact and resources.

The new facility also supports the intersection of disciplines by blurring the lines between different areas of research, including Biomedical, Environmental, Ecology, Biomolecular, Botanical, and Wetlands. The new home for the Department of Biological Sciences shall, at its core, support a practical education of its students, engaging the current and future problem-solving generations in real group research projects and prompting early skill development beginning at the undergraduate level.

Client: Old Dominion University

Location: Norfolk, VA

Discipline: Academic

Completion: Fall 2025

Size: 165,000 SF New Construction

Filed in:

, Higher Education, Academic