Gephart partnered with Mortenson Construction to build the University of Minnesota’s Physics and Nanotechnology building. This flexible-use laboratory building houses both the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Minnesota Nano Center and accommodates 200 faculty, post doctorate and graduate students, as well as visiting researchers. The 145,000 SF, 5-level facility has more than 15,000 square feet dedicated to nanotechnology research, including a cleanroom facility with two Class 10 bays and three Class 100 bays. This project marks Gephart’s 50th for the University of Minnesota.


Gephart’s early involvement in the project allowed us to incorporate significant value analysis items during pre-construction. These included: alternate light fixture design, packaging and buyout, aluminum feeder conductors, expanded use of underground feeder installations, duct bank routing and logistics, clean room feeder routing, phasing to allow early permanent power to support construction schedule, switchgear configuration modifications, early procurement based on BIM modeling, off-site storage facilities to accommodate pre-purchased items to guard against commodities increases, and facilitation of just-in-time delivery to the job site.


Gephart played a crucial role in keeping the project on its fast-track, 22-month schedule by coming up with efficient designs for the duct bank and feeder conduit routes. Using our Individual Work Plan (IWP) and BIM capabilities, we solved the especially challenging dilemma of how to run the conduit while avoiding the “no fly zones” stipulated in the cleanroom spaces. In addition, Gephart utilized our longstanding WBE/MBE relationships to exceed both the TGB and Workforce Utilization goals set for the project.  Working with long-time CPP partner woman-owned Gunnar Electric, for example, we surpassed the WBE/MBE Targeted Group Business participation goal by 11%.


In our industry, repeat business is one of the highest compliments you can get and this is the case with this U of MN Physics and Nano project. Since substantial completion of the project, Gephart has been invited back to build out two additional labs and to perform department-specific work for the facility tenants such as bringing power to their specialty equipment. In addition, Gephart’s Superintendent was given Mortenson’s Pinnacle Performer Award for his leadership on the project. On each major project, Mortenson singles out one team member for doing his or her part to make sure the Mortenson experience is the best building experience it can be and recognizes that person with the Pinnacle Performer Award.


  • Lighting
  • Site Lighting
  • Lighting Control
  • Medium Voltage Duct Bank
  • Medium Voltage Service Entrance Switch Gear
  • Electrical Distribution System
  • Fire Alarm
  • TeleCom Cabling and Pathways
  • CCTV
  • Access Control
  • Surface Raceway
  • Cable Tray
  • Lightning Protection
  • A/V Systems
  • Mechanical Systems Power Wiring
  • Expanded Chiller Plant
  • TeleCom Ductbank
  • Clean Room Power Wiring
  • Area of Rescue
  • Ultra Pure Water System Wiring
  • Building Grounding Ring
  • Distributed Antenna System (DAS)
"“The Gephart team was a pleasure to work with on the Physics and Nano building. Their collaborative and proactive approach in both the office and field helped to support the overall success on the project. I can confidently state that I look forward to working with this team again on future opportunities as they may arise.” "
Joe Proulx, Project Manager, Mortenson Construction