Here Comes the Neighborhood

The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of integrating traditional laboratory research with computation and mathematics, enabling breakthroughs in scientific research that improves children’s health.

Having tripled in size in only ten years, the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital needed to expand its capability to pursue cutting-edge research — especially as mathematics and computational science become increasingly important. The new Research Building III facilitates this with a unique laboratory layout and welcoming collaboration spaces.

The lab benches are organized in “neighborhoods” of four Principal Investigators each, clustered together with all ancillary services: offices, conference rooms, lounges, and lab support. These neighborhoods are linked by double-height collaborative spaces that prevent any one lab group from being isolated within the building. The result is more seamless integration between departments, such as the Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine, a crucial element of the institute’s research strategy.

The Research “Neighborhood”
The Research “Neighborhood”
The Research “Neighborhood”
The Research “Neighborhood”
The Research “Neighborhood”
The Research “Neighborhood”

Sustainable Design

Designed entirely in three-dimensional computer models, the mechanical systems are expected to achieve energy savings as much as 30% over ASHRAE 2007 standards. These savings, so difficult to achieve in a research facility, are accomplished in part by heat exchangers that capture heat energy from exhaust air, and also by separating technicians' workstations from the laboratories, allowing them to have lower HVAC requirements.

The building envelope also contributes to sustainability. A refined glass curtain wall faces north and east, toward the existing campus, in order to illuminate the interior with indirect natural light. To the south and west, insulated precast concrete panels enclose the building where solar exposure is greatest. In general, floor-to-floor glass aligns with the laboratories to bring in maximum daylight, while private offices have more suitably scaled windows.

Currently the building is on target for LEED Gold certification.

Video: The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Awards and Publications


AIA Ohio, Honor Award


Columbus Dispatch, “‘Green’ building designs pop up in state,” April 22, 2012
WBNS-10TV, “Everything Matters… Inside the New Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” June 7, 2012