University of Michigan


North Campus Research Complex


The University of Michigan began working with SmithGroupJJR in 2008, when the institution acquired a neighboring research complex to the north previously operated by Pfizer. Challenged with helping to create a new research hub, the design team first provided a Facilities Conditions Assessment (FCA) to evaluate all physical plant assets at both a complex level and an individual-building level.

The FCA served as a roadmap for occupying, upgrading and operating the NCRC during the first few years after acquisition, helping guide the occupation of "low hanging fruit” buildings: about one million out of two million square feet that required relatively minor renovation and repurposing. It has also helped guide a numerous renovation projects in the 28-building complex, also performed by SmithGroupJJR.

More recently, the design team analyzed six candidate research buildings that would likely require much more substantial renovation or modification, assembling a database of building attributes to compare with biomedical research benchmarks. This facility program assessment resulted in three programmatic scenarios for each building, giving the university the ability to make informed decisions, an understanding of the value in those decisions, and an idea of when to make the next investment.