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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 3, 2003

MERF Design Brings American Institute Of Architecture Award

The designers of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF) at the University of Iowa garnered honors for their work by the New England chapter of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA). The group received a 2003 Design Award at the AIA New England Design Awards presentation and banquet Sept. 20.

Payette Associates of Boston was named in the award, along with Baldwin White Architects (associate architects) of Des Moines; Alvin & Associates (mechanical/electrical engineers) of Omaha; Charles Saul Engineering (structural engineers) of Des Moines; and Michael Van Valkenburg Associates (landscape architects) of Cambridge, Mass.

Steve Buckman was the project manager, Bill Mielnik was the construction engineer and Jan Harvey was the interior designer. All three are with the UI Facilities Services Group.

The MERF project was one of four selected in its category from more than 200 entries. For this award category, any built project of any type anywhere in the world by any New England architectural firm, and any built project in New England by any architect anywhere in the world, were eligible.

The $58 million, 220,000 square-foot MERF, completed in January 2003, is the flagship building for the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Built on the site of the former Steindler Building, MERF is home to most of the college's administrative, educational and student spaces, including the Sahai Medical Education Center. MERF also provides state-of-the-art laboratory space for biomedical research, including the Roy J. Carver Molecular Science Research Center and the Roland and Ruby Holden Cancer Research Laboratories.

A summary of the design awards can be found online at:

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, (319) 335-8032,