Project Title

UIUC Integrated Bioprocessing Research Facility

We are really impressed with your team and thrilled to be partnering with Bailey Edward on this complex and important design-build project at UIUC. We hope to keep the positive momentum all the way through completion...Everything has been completed on schedule and surpassed our expectations to this point. Keep up the good work! — Steve Lehman, CORE Construction


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Project Summary

Moving from basic research discoveries to commercial products requires a unique facility where various plant and plant co-products (biomass) can be tested as value-added bioprocessing products. Bailey Edward, in conjunction with CORE Construction, was selected for the design-build of the 40,000 square foot Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) campus. IBRL will be a flexible, plug-and-play pilot plant and analytical laboratory that will bring faculty, students, and private industry together to scale up processes from the lab bench ultimately developing efficient and economical strategies for the production of renewable bio-based products.

An integrated pilot plant, IBRL will provide research space, teaching classrooms, administrative offices, and analysis laboratories. The laboratory will include state-of-the-art pilot plant processing unit operations and include a biotechnology, fermenting, corn milling and soybean processing high bay space with cutting edge equipment. In order to produce next-generation biofuels, the equipment accommodates analysis, deconstruction, fermentation, thermochemical processes, co-product evaluation and optimization of cellulosic material into energy, including biomass pre-treatment skids, one of only two in North America.

IBRL is designed to meet LEED Silver Certification.

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Urbana, Illinois


Design Vignette

Bailey Edward faced the challenge of a competitive design-build scenario where cost and efficiency are of first importance. In one month’s time, the exterior was redesigned, the plan improved, the energy-saving performance increased, and the costs tightened to win the project.

To improve the aesthetics of IBRL, Bailey Edward gave the building a sense of arrival by combining the front and accessible entrances, repositioning the front stairwell, and creating an entry lobby to help promote the development of industry relationships between the public and private sector institutions interested in bio-based proof-of-concept activities. The new lobby’s terrazzo floor is designed to represent the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), a nod of respect to one of the oldest faculties on campus. Understanding the balance between old and new on UIUC campus, Bailey Edward also improved the building façade to provide a better connection with UIUC’s Georgian style.

To improve the thermal energy performance, Bailey Edward redesigned the wall system to increase its thermal capacity and eliminate thermal gaps / bridging. A window and metal panel system was integrated into the design to decrease opportunities for heat loss. All of these solutions will provide long-term operational cost-savings to the client.

To improve on the construction costs of IBRL, Bailey Edward maximized the building mass, both reducing costs and increasing the amount of usable research space in the building. The mechanical supply routes were simplified to provide for easier installation and maintenance. With no change to interior ceiling height, the roof line was dropped and the connections to the adjacent historic building were aligned reducing material cost.