SmithGroup-designed U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center completed in Arizona

The SmithGroup-designed U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where scientists will conduct experiments to improve agricultural techniques in dry and drought stricken regions, has reached completion in Maricopa, AZ, south of Phoenix. The new $20.3M, 100,000 sq. ft. U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center is the consolidation of the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory and Western Cotton Research Laboratory, previously located in Phoenix...

U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Services dedicates center on April 24.

PHOENIX, April 24, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The SmithGroup-designed U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where scientists will conduct experiments to improve agricultural techniques in dry and drought stricken regions, has reached completion in Maricopa, AZ, south of Phoenix.

The new $20.3 million, 100,000-square-foot U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center is the consolidation of the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory and the Western Cotton Research Laboratory, previously located in Phoenix, AZ.

"Built the way a farm would be built: utilitarian, economical and appropriate to function," is the way SmithGroup architect Mark Kranz describes the motivation behind the design. A traditional farm brings together a variety of components (barns and sheds) each representing a necessary role in the function of the whole. Each component of the research campus was sited to reflect the research and reinforce the process of U.S.D.A researchers.

The mechanical and electrical systems are also designed to be as energy efficient as possible and the facility strives to embody the spirit of energy and water conservation. Rainwater is captured and stored to be used in landscape irrigation and research spaces are designed to reduce the need for artificial lighting while maximizing the use of natural daylight.

The U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center contains laboratory and office space, laboratory support space, as well as a headhouse and green houses, a hydraulics lab, shops and a central plant. The Center is dedicated to the study of pest management and biological controls, cotton physiology, genetics and plant insect interaction, as well as irrigation and water quality and the environment-plant dynamic.

Core Construction of Phoenix, Arizona served as general contractor.

SmithGroup, Inc. (www.smithgroup.com) ranks as the nation's 8th largest architecture and engineering firm (Building Design & Construction, July 2005) and employs 800. SmithGroup is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the science & technology, healthcare, learning, workplace and urban design and planning markets. Established in 1853, SmithGroup is the longest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the U.S. In addition to its office in Phoenix, SmithGroup also has offices in Ann Arbor, MI; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, D.C.

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