Gilbane Builders, the global construction firm, was recently awarded two new assignments in Houston, the ION, a tech startup center in the Innovation Corridor and the expansion of the University of Texas MD Anderson Proton Therapy Radiation Treatment Center.
The first Gilbane award, the ION, is the anchor building for the Innovation Corridor that runs from the Downtown through Midtown to the Texas Medical Center (TMC). The corridor will become the location for tech startups in Houston. The Rice University-owned build will be a reimagining of the 4-story iconic 270,000 square foot 1930s landmark Sears Building located midway between the CBD and the TMC. Construction is expected to be complete in 2021.
According to the press release from the recent groundbreaking ceremonies, “The Ion will be the centerpiece of an up-and-coming innovation district as it brings the area’s entrepreneurs, corporate and academic communities together with collaborative spaces and programs. The building will retain some of the signature elements of its original art deco design such as the historic corners, glass block windows, decorative tile work and a three-sided storefront with architectural canopies – while new large windows will connect the open interior to the surrounding streetscape. A new central skylight will shower the building in natural sunlight and, from inside, provide unobstructed views across the ground floor.”
The second Gilbane project, the MDAnderson Proton Radiation Therapy Center expansion, is located in the Texas Medical Center and will, according to the press release announcement, “more than double the size to more than 160,000 square feet” and will give more patients access to the state of the art treatment for a number of different cancers.
The center is currently “operating at capacity, treating patients 20 hours a day, five days a week” and the expansion will make a total of 8 machines available in the facility. The facility is a combination of highly technical proton machines and an accelerator that will split the protons and send them to the machine for the treatments. The equipment is produced by Hitachi and Gilbane will be responsible for the critical clearances necessary for the machines to operate properly and provide the doctors, radiologists, physicists, and technicians the ability to create and deliver treatment plans for the patients. The facility is expected to be fully operational in November of 2023.
Both projects will challenge the Gilbane team in different ways and both will continue the Gilbane commitment to building the Houston of the future.