On November  2, 2016, after over a year of pricing and design work,  MGC, Inc. was awarded the $5.1M Laboratory Casework and Equipment contract for The Arizona State University  Biodesign Institute Building C Located in Tempe AZ.  This new 189,000 square foot research facility includes five stories, a mechanical penthouse, plus a basement that connects with the ASU Biodesign Institute B building and will house the X-ray laser facility. This X-ray laser is the world's first of its kind.  The building’s adaptable design will accommodate multiple types of scientific research, including chemistry, biological sciences and engineering research. The building, composed mostly of wet laboratories and offices, also includes high-bay spaces.  Some of the research that will take place in the ASU Biodesign Institute Building C is focused on unlocking the discovery of more effective drugs to combat disease and on providing cleaner air, water and energy.


This project went through many changes during the design and construction phases.  Entire areas were redesigned multiple times to meet specific researcher needs.   MGC, Inc. was called upon to custom design  laboratory benches, casework, overhead service grids and wet clean benches to meet specific laboratory requirements .  This project is only one example of what MGC, Inc. can accomplish through our experienced Project Management teams in partnership with our specialized Laboratory Casework Manufacturers.


MGC, Inc. provided the following for this project:  2D shop Drawings, BIM Modeling, Safeguard Laboratory Fume Hoods, Wet Clean Benches, Back Draft Benches, Laboratory metal casework, Custom Optima Mobile Laboratory Benches and Tables, Metal Tool Cabinets, Stainless Steel Cabinets, Stainless steel tops, Scullery Sinks, Laboratory Wall Shelving both wood and stainless steel, Sterilizers, Glass Washers, Snorkels, Ice Flakers, Revolving Dark Room Doors, Dark Room and Laser Curtains, Overhead Service Carriers and Grids with 80/20 Aluminum, Specialized Task Lighting, Epoxy Resin Tops, Butcher Block Wood Tops, Cylinder Restraints, Architectural Woodwork, Stone Tops, Stainless Steel Wall Paneling and more.


The Project Team:

  • Zimmer Gunsul  Frasca, Architects
  • BWS, Architects
  • Jacobs Consultancy, Inc.,  Lab Planning
  • McCarthy Building Companies, General contractor
  • MGC, Inc. Laboratory Supplier


The project broke ground on  October 2016.  Construction was completed in June of 2018.  Researchers began to move in and begin their work early in May of 2018.


The construction schedule for this large facility of less than 2 years brought many challenges in regard to obtaining and installing customized products.  MGC, Inc. Inc. successfully handled these challenges a few of which are outlined as follows:



Lab planner designs called for specific details at double sided mobile lab benches that were far from standard such as; Square post Inverted leg design, 37" working height, Both tables removable with 4 legs each to stand alone , Special retainer rods and turrets, Top shelf mounted motion sensor dimmable LED task lights with an operators switch at the front apron.

  • Through relentless research and development over the course of 18 months MGC, Inc. was able to have these LED lights fabricated to meet the design requirements to work with Mott Manufacturing's specially designed Optima Benches.
  • Mott Manufacturing was able to modify the Optima bench to incorporate all the features requested and include special coordination for the field installed LED lights.


Custom dimmable remote controlled LED lights at Laser Lab Overhead Grids also took over a year to develop the functionality and coordination so that they could all be controlled by one controller at one location.


Researcher requested design changes throughout the project pushed fabrication schedules to their limits.

  • Manufacturing time was blocked well in advance, although this did not solve the problem it allowed us to slide phases of the project around and still maintain the projects targeted completion date.
  • The contracted engineer was able to make changes at a moment's notice to the already approved shop drawings to accommodate the needs of the fabricator for these changes.
  • The Installer was willing to alter his schedule for installation of certain areas and to install in multiple areas simultaneously to accommodate the revised materials being fabricated for different areas.


Revised flooring schedule called for a change in sequence for installation of lab casework moving  the casework install several months later and compacting the installation schedule as well by not extending the completion date.

  • A Storage facility that would receive and deliver materials already fabricated but not ready to be installed was contracted to assist with material management.
  • Mott Manufacturing was able to move some fabrication times to decrease the amount of storage required.
  • Additional installers were brought on to assist with the compacted schedule.
  • Installers were willing to work necessary overtime.




Insulated with thick concrete walls and aluminum barriers there is a custom-designed vault in the basement that will house the world’s first compact X-ray free-electron laser, attracting top-line researchers nationwide. This project miniaturizes existing technology that stretches out miles long and is currently only available in California, Japan and Korea. Scientific “gridlock” is delaying the discovery of new, more effective drugs and clean energy. Once ASU has successfully completed this project, the technology can be made available to research centers throughout the world.


With Eric Reiman taking the lead, the new ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center is expected to be one of the world’s largest basic science centers for the study of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The team is working to develop clinical and research programs with Banner Health.


This Biodesign Building C  and its inhabitants will drive ASU’s collaborative spirit of innovation far into the future, building on ASU’s reputation of No. 1 in innovation in the nation. Building C is designed to be a workplace that drives cooperation and collaboration between researchers from different fields — to accelerate their ability to drive new solutions into practice, called use-inspired research.


Building C cost $120 Million and is 189,000 square feet, 60,000 of which is flexible lab space.


The project team worked with the ASU Environmental Health and Safety Department to enact standards for reduced air change rates, which supported the use of a chilled beam hydronic system, where ventilation is decoupled from cooling. All non-laboratory air is transferred from perimeter offices through the laboratories, providing “free” air conditioning for the research spaces. Safeguard Low-flow fume hoods minimize air change rates while lowering turbulence in laboratories, thereby increasing user safety.


The building was designed to meet specifications for LEED Silver at a minimum and has intentions to meet a higher LEED certification.





The scope and future impact of this project is summed up in the words of world renowned cancer researcher Dr. Joshua LaBaer who serves as the Executive Director of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute as follows:


“Powered by intellect, energy and innovation, our researchers believe they can accomplish what others often find impossible, with the addition of Biodesign C, we will soon have nearly 700 scientists of all kinds — biologists, engineers, chemists, physicists, mathematicians, computer technologists — and students working together to find creative and clean solutions for energy, air and water. We will invent new diagnostics and treatments that are accessible and affordable, and in some cases, we expect to be able to halt disease before it even begins.”


MGC, Inc. is privileged to have played an integral part in the development and building of The Arizona State University  Bio Design Institute Building C, one of the most innovative and important university research facilities to date.



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