In 2018, Rutgers University opened its new state-of-the-art science building on the Busch Campus to serve the students, faculty, and staff of the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology.
“CCB is a national leader when it comes to educating chemistry students at all levels as well as securing federal funding for research that is vital to many technology-based industries,” said Professor Alan Goldman. “We are very excited about the future of the chemistry program at Rutgers, because the infrastructure commitment enhances our ability to educate students and advance research in a field that creates the materials and products of everyday life, from the invention of new synthetic polymers to innovations in health care and energy.”
The $115 million, 130,000-square-foot signature research and teaching facility is located just north of the department’s principal building, the Wright-Rieman Chemistry Complex.
“Chemistry is really the cultural gateway to the sciences,” said Professor Jean Baum. “The new building reaffirms the university’s commitment to serving the needs of the STEM industries as well as the essential role and impact of chemistry in a modern research and teaching university of Rutgers’ caliber.”
In addition to educational opportunities, New Jersey is located in the largest concentration of chemical industry research, development, and production in the nation, with direct employment of over 70,000 and more than $1 billion in state and local tax contributions. The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology is uniquely positioned to offer opportunities others cannot.
As the 8th oldest institution of higher education in the United States, Rutgers University-New Brunswick is home to one of the nation's most extensive and diversified network of research laboratories. The university is ranked 41st among all world universities and 12th in the country for federal funding for chemistry.
"Our world is in desperate need of clean and renewable energy solutions; and my group is dedicated to identifying and characterizing the chemicals that will provide the foundations for those solutions," explained Professor Jing Li. "I can't express how thrilled I am to be able to conduct our work in a building that embodies the principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship that underlie all of our efforts."
Our large laboratories are flexible, with the ability to reconfigure space, equipment, and furnishings as scientific needs and research teams evolve. Equally important, specialty rooms meet the particular needs of instrumentation that require high vibrational, thermal, humidity and/or electromagnetic field stability. Space, light, and pedestrian flow optimize interaction and productivity for faculty and students. Communal spaces maximize collaboration within and between research teams.
"Today's modern scientific methods rely on critically sensitive tools that require extremely stable environments to function properly,” said Associate Professor KiBum Lee. “We are very excited about the future of chemistry research at Rutgers because the unique requirements of each research endeavor has been incorporated into the new building’s design. It is impossible to predict what tomorrow holds, but we will have the infrastructure in place to meet any challenge.”
The growing STEM demand is driven by America’s technology based economy that emphasizes education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The chemical industry employs more than 1 million U.S. workers directly, generates trillions of dollars yearly in revenue, and is responsible for over 10% of exports.
And because of its environmentally-friendly design, the hundreds of new jobs created during the construction phase bolstered New Jersey's burgeoning "green" economy. The department will also experience long-term employment impacts, such as more staff and new faculty members, whose original patents and research dollars create considerable assets for the university and the state as a whole.
The new building meets the standards for LEED Gold minimum certification and follows the sustainable design practices recommended by Laboratories for the 21st Century:
- Extensive windows and light shelves to maximize natural light
- Light-colored finishes to further reduce electrical lighting usage
- Natural materials and elimination of off-gassing materials
- Green exterior design for thermal tempering and rainwater collection
- Rainwater irrigation of native vegetation in courtyard
- Rain garden to manage storm water runoff
- Flow of ventilation from office to lab ventilation zones for reduced energy use
- Reduced lab ventilation requirements through occupancy sensors, low-flow hoods, and variable air valves
- Air changes per hour rates by module function