McCarthy and SmithGroup Teaming on New ASU Science Building

By Eric Althoff

MESA, Ariz.—McCarthy Building Companies is now constructing the $185 million Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 12 (ISTB12) at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, located in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. Situated a few miles from the main ASU campus, the upgrades are part of an expansion for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering’ School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks at ASU’s Polytechnic campus—which is also referred to as the Innovation Research District.

As designed by SmithGroup, the 173,194-square-foot structure will entail 128,828 programmable square feet spread out over three floors. In addition to traditional classrooms, among the spaces designed for ISTB12 will be offices, collaboration spaces and research labs dedicated to various engineering challenges. Among the specialties that will be addressed in the various laboratories will be robotics, cyber, semiconductor manufacturing and additive manufacturing.

“ISTB12 is ASU’s largest single capital investment on the Polytechnic campus,” Alex Kohnen, ASU’s Facilities Development and Management vice president, said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “This state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing research and educational center will be a gateway between our future innovation zone and our existing campus as ASU continues to support Arizona’s new economy initiatives.”

Working with McCarthy and SmithGroup will be subcontractors including WOODPATEL, PK Associates and Speedie & Associates.

Mark Kranz, design director for SmithGroup, said that the building will not only fashion an entirely new “gateway” to the tech campus but also will anchor the Innovation District as it grows in future collaborations between academic and business leaders.

“The three-story U-shaped design is connected by a ‘collaboration bridge’ that creates a shaded courtyard and breezeway at the Terrapin Mall, one of the campus’s main pedestrian thoroughfares,” explained Kranz. “The project’s materiality complements and elevates the campus’s existing iconic architectural character with highly articulated metallic panels, concrete masonry units, low-E glazing and calibrated shading elements.”

McCarthy’s construction teams also created the ISTB7 project at ASU’s main campus in Tempe in 2022. Accordingly, the GC was eager to again work with the university on the expansions to the Polytechnic campus as well.

“Our laboratory construction team is working with university and project partners to build another state-of-the-art facility that Sun Devils will be proud of for years to come,” said Carlos Diaz, project director for McCarthy.

ISTB12 is the latest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects being constructed at various ASU campuses. Among the sustainability features at the science building are rainwater collection and solar-ready infrastructure. The project is aiming for LEED Silver certification.

Construction is projected to finish by November 2025.