Project Spotlight: The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society at Boston College 08/22/22
By: John Guarracino, JM Electrical Principal & COO
JM Electrical Inc. (JME) played a key role in the construction of The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society (The Institute) at Boston College (BC). This innovative space is the cornerstone of a $300 million investment in the sciences at BC, the first institution of higher education to operate in the city of Boston.
This innovative five-story facility—the heart of the 156,500-square-foot Science Building— was designed to promote multidisciplinary research and tackle critical issues in the areas of energy, health, and the environment. Located at 245 Beacon Street on BC’s Newton campus, the $150 million project got underway in 2019 and was completed in 2021. The new building represented the largest single investment in the sciences at Boston College.
Reflecting the distinctive Gothic architecture of BC’s Middle Campus, The Institute’s design includes pitched clay tile roofs and a stone façade.
This new facility will encourage an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental approach by bringing together all of BC’s undergraduate schools, its Law School and School of Social Work, and its Shea Center for Entrepreneurship. The Institute provides office and “wet” laboratory space for researchers, teaching laboratories featuring computer science robotics, a clean room, classrooms, and gathering spaces where faculty from the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, earth and environmental sciences, psychology, and neuroscience and students can collaborate and interact.
For this complex assignment, JME worked in close collaboration with the project’s primary contractors. Over a two-year period, JME installed all HVAC Control Systems and wiring for the major mechanical systems, including a Chilled Beam System and Aircuity, which monitors carbon dioxide levels, airborne particulates, and air quality.
Because all materials were stored and sorted at the company’s new Innovation Center, the process for JME’s team of electricians was streamlined and onsite disruptions avoided.
The Institute marks JME’s 60+ project for BC. Earlier work included Harrington Athletic Village Facilities and the Central Heating Plant.
At each facility, JM installed building automation systems, which are essential to the facility’s operational use. Many lab ventilation systems use mostly outside air to circulate throughout the building, when paired with air valves and fume hoods, controlled air movement is provided to maintain a safe working environment.
Today, Institute researchers are using science and technology to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges, while training the next generation of science leaders. Not only do places like The Institute ultimately help improve the quality of people’s lives, they are also a cornerstone of Greater Boston’s ecosystem as well, attracting the best minds into our marketplace while driving the region’s economy and world-class reputation.
These modern, collaborative environments welcome brilliant students and scientists alike from all over the world to Boston. And combined with the region’s ongoing life science boom, these places of learning and discovery allow Boston to remain a destination for innovation.