Current News

Veterinary Medicine Research Facility 3B – Celebrating Discovery

What's New Image

Veterinary Medicine 3B will celebrate its grand opening on March 15th.

Veterinary Medicine 3B is a four-story, 76,000 assignable square foot research building dedicated to protecting and improving the health of animals, people and the environment. A grand opening will be held on March 15. This $58.5 million project brings together 50 faculty members from more than two dozen disciplines and nearly 40 student-faculty research teams, laboratory staff and graduate students exploring a variety of animal-health issues such as environmental pollution, food safety, public health, and infectious diseases, including those that can be passed between animals and humans. 

The building will house individuals from Veterinary Medicine Extension, Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, Wildlife Health Center and One Health Institute, as well as the departments of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology; Molecular Biosciences; and Population Health and Reproduction. 

The school’s $63.7 million research enterprise is the largest in the nation among veterinary colleges with a five-year funding total of more than $260 million. Within that same time frame, the school’s researchers were awarded 938 extramural contracts and grants.

The modern biomedical research space will support researchers who excel in the following areas: 

  • Autism 
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Toxicology 
  • Nutrition
  • Seizures
  • Mitochondrial Genetic Disease 
  • Aquatic Toxicology 
  • Reproduction 
  • Zoonotic diseases 
  • Vector-borne diseases 
  • Food Safety
  • 100k Pathogen Genome Project 

Vet Med 3B provides replacement space for individuals moving from outdated facilities and is the eighth and final building to be constructed as part of the veterinary school’s Phase 1– a 15-year initiative launched in 1998 to address accreditation issues. Seven of those buildings are at UC Davis and one is at the school’s Veterinary Medical Teaching and Research Center at Tulare. The project also unites 400+ faculty, staff and students with the rest of the school in the Health Sciences District, ending a 40 year separation.

Innovative design features of Vet Med 3B include an open lab concept that will facilitate scientific collaboration. The integrated assignment of offices, support space, shared equipment and labs cross department/unit lines as do the shared conference and break rooms, team spaces, the seminar room and freezer farm.

The State provided $45.3 million to construct this building. $5.5 million was provided from campus funds, and $12 million from private donations ($7.7 million to help construct the new building and $4.3 million to equip and furnish it). The school’s future building efforts will focus on updating and expanding facilities for the veterinary medical teaching hospital. The state’s total support for these buildings equals $135.2 million.

Major contributions were received from: the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation of Oakland; S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation; Foster Poultry Farms; and individual members of the Dean’s Advisory Council.

The project is on target to achieve LEED Gold environmental standards as specified by the U.S. Green Building Council, thanks to innovative and sustainable planning and design elements that reduce energy demands in the following areas:

Lighting—Daylight is filtered through windows, prompting photo sensors to turn off electric lights when enough natural light is available. Strategic building orientation and sunshade design allow low winter light to enter perimeter windows while vertical fins and automatic shades eliminate late afternoon summer sun from entering the labs during work hours. Translucent glazing and light materials help redirect the interior lighting back into the space during late winter afternoons. 

Structure—A well-insulated building skin, including R-20 in the walls and R-30 in the roof, reduce energy demands throughout the life of the building. Insulated glass with a “low-e” coating and argon gas between panes also prevent unwanted heat loss or gain. 

Heating and Cooling—Operable windows are located in private offices and shared team spaces to allow for natural ventilation and cooling. The central stair tower is designed to draw warm air up from the main lobby and surrounding open office which is exhausted through rooftop ventilators, eliminating the need for air conditioning in the stairwell. Water cooled and heated diffusers or “active chilled beams” and radiant panels reduce the air needed to deliver heating/cooling. 

Water Efficiency—Low water use landscaping is designed with native and well-adapted plants resistant to most pests and diseases that will require minimal fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, thereby improving the quality of storm water runoff. Storm water, combined with aquatics lab waste water and the lab water backwash is cycled through the reclaimed water system to serve the demand for toilet flushing seven months out of the year. All interior water fixtures are optimized for low flow; faucets are activated by automatic sensors, powered by batteries recharged by small turbines receiving energy from the flowing water.

The project team also considered future energy demands and the need to capture renewable energy. Three roof areas are reserved for future on-site photovoltaic (PV) panels with conduit pathways that connect them to the main electrical room. The campus may also dedicate some of the production capacity from the south entry parking PV array to serve a portion of the building’s electrical demands. 

Whenever possible, construction materials were chosen to maximize recycled content. Paving, concrete, steel and insulation were selected for high levels of post-consumer and post-industrial recycled content, resulting in over 31% of the construction material (on a cost basis) being recycled. Additionally, on a cost basis, over 24% of the materials were manufactured and had their raw materials extracted within 500 miles of the building site, reducing transportation energy use. Over 75% of the wood materials were harvested from sustainably managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 

Diverted construction wastes include all concrete and asphalt from the site clearing which was crushed and re-used on site and recyclables were sorted and hauled to a recycling center. This helped divert over 96% of the construction and demolition waste from the landfill.

Key building achievements include:

33% less ongoing energy consumption*

96% of construction waste diverted from landfill disposal

80% less potable water use*

*when compared to a similar building built to code


About the School of Veterinary Medicine 

Leading Veterinary Medicine, Addressing Societal Needs: The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine serves the people of California by providing educational, research, clinical service, and public service programs of the highest quality to advance the health and care of animals, the environment, and the public, and to contribute to the economy. For further information, visit