Interdisciplinary Science Building: A New Sustainable Paradigm at Webster University in Saint Louis

Punit Jain, Cannon Design

Webster University Interdisciplinary Science Building is an 85,000 gsf project that will explore new ways to achieve sustainable design aspirations in a building that brings the departments of Anthropology, Sociology & Psychology, Institute for Human Rights, International Languages and Cultures, Nurse Anesthesia, Nursing, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in a single building to promote interdisciplinary collaboration amongst these disciplines that are currently located in different buildings and in facilities that do not meet the expectations of students and faculty and the mission and vision for the future of Webster University.

The program includes both teaching and research laboratories that would promote undergraduate research and enhanced student faculty collaboration.

The nursing program will include a Health Assessment Lab with Mock Patient Beds while the Nurse Anesthesia program will be supported by a Cadaver Lab, Dry Skills Lab, and Simulation Lab. The program also includes a Quantitative Lab for the Sociology & Psychology department. The building is designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. Student commons is distributed throughout including in the faculty office areas to encourage students to interact with faculty and have places to collaborate amongst themselves.

Learning Objectives

  • How to design a multi-program interdisciplinary science building sustainably.
  • How interdisciplinary collaboration can enhance learning.
  • How laboratory design can promote undergraduate research and enhanced student faculty collaboration.
  • How a nursing program can thrive in this type of environment.


A key member of the firm's Science & Technology practice, Punit Jain brings extensive experience in designing both teaching and research laboratory buildings. Mr. Jain is responsible for promoting high-performance design through LEED certification, conducting training for the firm's professionals and high-performance design practices. Mr. Jain serves on the national board of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories and the advisory board of SEFA.


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