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Texas A&M University-Galveston

Ocean and Coastal Studies Building

TAMUG engaged HERA prior to selection of the project architect to jump-start the process ahead of the full-design effort. HERA developed a building program through a consensus-driven process to define the macro-level facility requirements, quality expectations, concepts of organization, and to establish a project budget summary including most likely construction costs for a new science building.

The LEED Gold certified Ocean and Coastal Studies Building completed in 2010 houses the university’s marine biology and marine sciences programs, including ecology, comparative physiology, and environmental theory and policy. HERA projected the size and quantity of teaching labs by analyzing utilization. This technique helped university administrators to identify peak course demand and requirements for future seat counts.

In addition to teaching, the new building is also defined by multiple marine science research endeavors of varying degrees of complexity. During programming, HERA worked with faculty and administrators to simplify the complex range of activities into six distinct planning cores. Five assigned research cores that define adjacencies in terms of lab services and equipment include shared access to dive lockers, instrumentation, policy meeting rooms, and animal holding facilities. A new 5,800-sf Marine Life Research Laboratory includes a salt-water infusion tank, exhibit space, and accommodates public access for tours. The sixth research core is a flex zone providing unassigned space available for grant-funded projects, visiting scientists, or multi-researcher space that would otherwise be carved out of individual researcher labs.

“It is without hesitation that I will recommend HERA … to any Higher Education campus or administration seeking professional lab planning analysis and programming. Had TAMUG not contracted with HERA at the very outset of the project, we would not have the quality of project design nor the enthusiasm of the faculty that we now enjoy.”

W. Brad McGonagle, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for the Administration


Galveston, Texas


110,000 GSF


Predesign programming, conceptual planning



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