Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building

University of North Texas Health Science Center
Architectural Design, Interior Design, Laboratory Planning, Programming
Higher Education
Fort Worth, TX
Project type
New construction
Ayers Saint Gross
Gold LEED 2009

Providing collaborative inter-professional training for all health disciplines

Our team provided comprehensive programming and design for the new Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building (IREB) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally intended to support the academic and research needs of the College of Pharmacy and the North Texas Eye Research Institute (NTERI), the flexible spaces have allowed each of the university programs to use the facility to support inter-professional education and multidisciplinary research. Ultimately, the driving force for this project was to produce a facility that fully supports the Health Science Center’s vision: “One university, built on values, defining and producing the providers of the future.”

Featuring active and informal learning spaces for all academic needs

The IREB includes open-plan research laboratories and core facilities, active, blended, and collaborative (ABC) classrooms, health innovations and skills instructional laboratories, medical training classrooms, and task training simulation suites. Learning spaces in the facility include a variety of 120-seat, 60-seat, and 30-seat classrooms, seminar rooms, and team rooms.

In addition to structured learning environments, informal collaboration areas are located strategically in student lounges, the café, and study nooks to accommodate all forms of study, gathering and social interaction. A cafe and an outdoor medicinal garden provide unique academic opportunities for faculty and students, and engaging and inviting spaces to share with the community.

The facility also features a small animal (rodent) vivarium that supports the NTERI and IMDTD research efforts. Holding and procedure rooms are located in three separate suites—conventional, barrier and ABSL-2. Cage washing, storage, break room, laundry, office, and receiving rooms are also included in this space. Each suite has access to pass through sterilization equipment that can also be used in single-sided applications for redundancy.

High-performing yet sustainable research spaces

The IREB is LEED Gold certified, emphasizing the Health Science Center and UNT System’s commitment to providing environmentally responsible buildings and systems.

The building’s energy consumption was reduced by 24% with enhanced environment and lighting control, the use of low-e glass, and low VOC products.

Blending into the community

The design of the new UNTHSC Interdisciplinary Research Building responds to existing campus buildings and the adjacent renowned arts district. Borrowing and stitching of spaces around the building and campus edges delivers a design that benefits students and the surrounding community by further developing natural pathways and walkways.


  • 2019 Golden Trowel Honorable Mention Award, Central Texas Masonry Contractors Association
  • 2020 Southwest Pride Award for Design Excellence in Education, International Interior Design Association

Project contact

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