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DPR and Bergelectric Deliver Ahead of Aggressive Schedule

In January of 2009, as North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (RTP), one of the most noted science parks in the world, was commemorating its 50th anniversary, United Therapeutics (UT) was commencing operations at its new state-of-the-art $78-million facility. UT is in good company as it takes its place among some of the world’s most cutting-edge firms and institutions in RTP—which is home to not only winners of the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, but where some of the most profound discoveries of the 20th century were influenced—including the invention of the Universal Product Code and 3D ultrasound technology, as well as highly-touted drugs that have demonstrated effectiveness in the battle against both cancer and HIV-AIDS.

Specializing in the development and commercialization of unique products to address the medical needs of patients with chronic and life-threatening cardiovascular and infectious diseases and cancer, UT planned to manufacture the solid dose form of treprostinil, a treatment for pulmonary hypertension that was in clinical trials, at its new 202,000-sf building. The facility was designed to accommodate up to 300 employees when production reached full swing.

Integrating Extraordinary Design with Functionality

Situated on 55 acres in RTP, the project uniquely integrates office, research and manufacturing spaces and includes a warehouse, 95,000 sf of office space with a central data center, a 150-seat auditorium, cafeteria, QA/QC labs and a fully-integrated formulation pilot plant. Designed by O’Neal, Inc., the extraordinary exterior that features curved metal panels surrounding the structure, is rivaled only by the distinctive interior spaces that utilize floor-to-ceiling glass curtainwalls and skylights to allow natural daylight to flow through manufacturing spaces that would typically be enclosed and removed from other company operations. A two-story atrium and a glass-encased lobby centered around a 10,000-gallon cylindrical aquarium further enhance the open work environment that encourages interaction and education.

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Tapping Into Collective Bioscience Expertise

The DPR/Berg team tapped into an impressive portfolio of big-name bioscience projects—including IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Agouron Pharmaceuticals—from which to draw expertise. Additionally, Berg’s established presence in the Raleigh-Durham region, combined with a team that was responding to the project fresh from NCSU’s Biomanufacturing Training facility—an educational facility that simulates real-world lab experience—made Berg a valuable asset to biopharmaceutical-construction veteran DPR.

“Our successful national working relationship helped to expedite the project and ultimately contributed to DPR’s crowning achievement—delivering the aggressively-scheduled 22.5-month project three weeks ahead of the contracted timetable,” noted Andy Hewett, Berg’s project manager. Bergelectric provided power distribution, fire alarm, generators and lightning protection for the UT facility, which is certain to provide major strides in healthcare for decades to come.

Size
201,000-square feet

Electrical Construction Cost
$8.9 Million

Duration
April 2007 – June 2009

Delivery Method
Design Build

Other Team Members
DPR Construction
O’Neal Architects
O’Neal Engineers

Berg Regional Office
Raleigh

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