• ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto
  • ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto
  • ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto
  • ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The new paradigm for flexible, sustainable, interdisciplinary research.

2012 Laboratory of the Year
The organization of spaces in the 300,000 sf Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery research building ("Discovery") - collocating the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Morgridge Institute for Research - simultaneously serves energy efficiency, functional long-term flexibility, interdisciplinary collaboration, and public transparency. Highly flexible research neighborhoods - with reconfigurable overhead utility drops and "plug-and-play" accommodations for hoods and chilled beams - contain nested pods of focused lab spaces, surrounded by support space and offices, creating concentric thermal buffers, in turn surrounded by public spaces. Because research innovation happens at the interfaces of disciplines, these areas offer incidental gathering points and other means to foster creative collaboration. Energy-saving measures include natural ventilation of the public ground floor/atrium zones, a geoexchange system, aggressive heat recovery, and chilled beam technology, with the goal of consuming 50% less energy than comparable UW facilities. Delivered using Integrated Project Delivery, the Discovery building opened in December 2010, estimated to have been a year sooner than would have been possible using a design-bid-build approach. Discovery's mission is accelerating new knowledge to improve human health and well-being.

From the client:
"We established an ambitious goal to use 50% less energy and water than other laboratory facilities on the Madison campus. Through the innovation and expertise of the people at AEI, we are exceeding this goal and setting a new standard for the campus."

George e. Austin
Project director
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

300,000 sf
Madison, WI
Uihlein Wilson Architects
LEED® status:
  • 2011 Comm Design Awards, Proj of the Yr & Best New Dev't or Reno - Other & Best Green-Built Project
    -In Business Magazine
  • 2011 Merit Award
    -AIA Wisconsin
  • 2012 Innovation in Green Building Award
    -Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
  • 2011 Best Projects, Higher Education/Research
    -ENR Midwest
  • 2011 Historic Preservation Award, Future Landmark Category
    -Madison Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2011 Concrete Design Award
    -Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • 2012 Engineering Excellence Award - Best of State
    -American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
  • 2011 Project Leadership Gold Award
    -Construction Owners Association of America
  • 2011 Environmental Excellence Award
    -Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin
  • 2012 Laboratory of the Year Award
    -R&D Magazine
  • 2010 Top Projects Award
    -The Daily Reporter/Wisconsin Builder Magazine