Expertise Facility Types

William Eckhardt Research Center

University of Chicago

This multifaceted research center is home to the Institute for Molecular Engineering, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, the Dean’s Office of Physical Sciences, and the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility.  

Five floors above grade house different types of labs ranging from optics to chemistry. The two floors below grade will provide extremely low‐vibration environments for laboratories used for nanoscale fabrication and imaging, including a 10,000 square foot class 100/1000 cleanroom
277,000 sq ft
7 levels
Construction Cost
LEED Silver
Awards and Mentions
Distinguished Building and Ten Year Award
AIA Chicago

Facility Profile
Controlled Environments Magazine

A variety of acoustical and vibration requirements

CGA worked closely with the researchers and facility personnel to understand and develop the appropriate criteria for each space. This included detailed vibration measurements in many of the existing physics laboratories pre‐construction in order to better understand the vibration requirements of the users.

Portions of the Pritzker cleanroom provide a NC‐50 noise environment and VC‐E vibration environment, both extremely challenging criteria to meet in a cleanroom supported on a suspended floor. The lower level below the cleanroom provides one of the quietest vibration environments CGA has ever measured.

Achieving these stringent vibration criteria was a particular challenge given the active urban environment, and required careful coordination between CGA and all the members of the design team involved.  

Facilitating Groundbreaking Research

The WERC facility is now being used for a wide variety of interesting and groundbreaking research, some of which is outlined in the videos to the right.

Much of this research would not be possible without the low noise, low vibration environments provided in the building.