Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-in-progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Michael Gallagher. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.






This page was last updated on September 2, 2010 and is hosted by the AE department © 2010-2011

Building Statistics Part 1

General Building Data:

Building name:  Chemistry Building

Building Occupant Name:  University

Occupancy or Function Type:  Half of the building is Lab and Research space and the other half is offices

Size:  265,000 SF

Number of stories above grade / total levels:  4 floors plus a penthouse


Turner Construction                                                                    


Payette Associates                                                                       

Architect on Record

Hopkins Architects (UK)                                                             

Executive Architect




Dates of construction (start—finish):  9/4/2007 – 11/2/2010

Total Building Cost:  $233,010,000

Project delivery method:  Design-bid-build



The building is designed to separate the building into different sections.  There is a large 4 story building which has been designed to be all lab spaces.  Then there is another 4 story building comprised of office space.  These two buildings are connected by a large 4 story glass atrium with 3 bridges spanning across the large open space for access from one building to the other.

There are six concrete cores for vertical transportation which break each building into sections.  The lab building has three of the concrete cores which separate this part of the building into 4 main lab spaces.  On the office side the cores are within each main pod which separates the office into only 3 main spaces on each floor.  Besides the concrete cores where the elevators are located the architect used the rest of the vertical transportation as an aesthetic feature.  On the lab building there are three stair towers enclosed in glass on the exterior of the building.  They are a major part of the exterior design of the building.  On the inside in the atrium there are also two large staircases which are and architectural feature.  They help give the building an open feel.  Going along with the open feel the end walls of the atrium are comprised of all glass and the entire roof on the atrium is a glass skylight.  Also the sides of the office building and lab building that face the atrium are all glass.  Above the skylight has PV trays which are custom made for this building.  They are not a traditional looking panel and are almost all clear glass allowing sunlight to make it through them and still naturally light the atrium.


Picture of atrium and atrium staircases looking south, Labs on left and Offices on right

Picture taken by Michael Gallagher


Major national model codes



This building is on a college campus so there were no zoning requirements except for the overall height of the building.  Because of this the stacks that are used for the fume hood exhausts are at the max height for this area.


Historical requirements

Not applicable


Building Enclosure

The Building façade is a curtain wall system.  All the glass was produced in Italy.  There are shading devices for each floor that also add to the aesthetics as well as function of the building.  All the glass for the end walls on the atrium, skylight, office building, and lab building are tinted glass.  The egress stair towers have a different type of glass.  The end walls on the office and lab buildings are a granite stone.  On the office side every room has a sliding door the height of the room with a screen for when the door opens.  Because of safety and code requirements there is also a railing on the exterior covering the opening so no one falls out.  All the penthouses have louvers that were produced in Mexico.  These were chosen for their overall look as long with being function with the mechanical systems.

Rendering by Hopkins Architects


The Roof of this building is a Tremco built up roof.  It is comprised of metal decking, then dense deck, then insulation with roofing plies on top of that.  It is then topped off with a white stone.


Sustainability Features

The university that owns this building has its own sustainable requirements for all the buildings on campus.  Because of this, a lot of green aspects are incorporated in this building.  The major one that can be seen when looking at the building is the PV trays on the roof.  However these were done as more of an aesthetic feature and really do not produce too much energy.  There is also a grey-water system that collects water and uses it to flush the toilets.  All the lights and rooms have occupancy sensors which help reduce energy consumption.  Because the building has a lot of glass it allows for a lot of natural lighting.  The bad part about all of the glass though is it affects the mechanical system, which is why the windows were tinted and shading devices were incorporated on the façade.  To also help with the mechanical system the AHU have a heat recovery system and vav boxes.


Picture of PV trays taken by Michael Gallagher




Building Stat 2


Structural System

The building has structural steel framing.  The entire atrium is framed with structural steel.  The Lab building is broken up into 4 different steel framing systems separated by three concrete cores that act as shear walls.  The office building is split up into three different steel framing systems and each framing system contains a concrete core that acts as a shear wall.  All the steel has composite metal decking with 4000psi concrete topping.  In the Office building the beams and girders are both wide flanges with a depth of 27”.  The beams along the curtain walls on the office side are wide flanges with a depth of 21”.  The beams and girders in the Lab building are all 24” depth wide flanges.  Just like the Office building the beams along the curtain wall are 21” depth wide flanges.  All the connections with the columns are moment connections.

The Building also has a CIP concrete as part of its structural system.  The foundation walls and concrete cores are all reinforced 5000psi cast in place concrete.  The six concrete cores are used for vertical transportation throughout the building, but are also the shear walls for the structural system.  Both the lab and office parts of the building have three concrete cores.  The first floor of the building has a cast in place slab and all of the concrete cores have a 6” CIP slab.



The first step of construction was Demo.  The building that was torn down in order to build the Chemistry Building was an armory.  When it was originally built it was a barn with horse stables.  There was a large asphalt parking lot that also needed to be demoed in order to start building.  The material that was hauled off-site from this demo comprised mostly of wood and asphalt.

Next, 49,364 CY of rock were blasted in order to prepare for the foundation work.  The geotechnical reports showed that because of the soil conditions a lot of blasting was going to be required.

Then the spread footings and foundation walls were completed.  The foundation walls were CIP and were placed directly from the truck or a pump truck when needed.  Reusable forms were used so then these same forms were used to complete the CIP concrete cores.  These were placed using a pump truck and once one floor was completed the formwork would be removed and set up on the next level. 

Mobile cranes were constantly onsite and used to assist in moving the formwork.  Multiple mobile cranes were also used for erecting the steel and setting the glass curtain wall.

The way the Chemistry Building is set it, it almost allowed for two separate schedules.  The lab portion and Office portions of the building could both be erected at the same time and not interfere with each other.  The atrium could then be erected and connect the two.  The Lab building started first.  The steel erection and CIP concrete all started at the South end of the building and worked towards the North.  The CIP reinforced concrete cores that house the elevators and mechanical shafts were completed first and then steel was erected next.  When the exterior façade and roof were completed the interior fit out started on the third floor and worked down until the ground floor was completed.


Mechanical Systems

3D Building Information Modeling was used for the coordination of the MEP systems. The mechanical system for the lab building is located in the penthouse on top of the building.  This part of the building houses five air handler units with a heat recovery system and VAV boxes.  The return system for the fume hoods exits the building through six exhaust towers on top of the lab penthouse roof.  The entire east side of the basement is mechanical rooms.  One of the rooms is for a greywater system for the building that is hooked up to a 12,000 gallon tank.  The northwest corner of the basement contains another seven air handler units that service the rest of the building.  These all also have a heat recovery system and all the offices are tempered by chilled beams and individual thermostats.  These twelve air handler units produce a total of 478,160cfm.


Lighting / Electrical

The electrical system has an emergency generator with a max rating of 1000 kw, 480/277 volts.  It is also sized to connect (4) 400 amp connectors per phase, (4) 400 amp cam connectors for neutral and (1) 400 amp cam connector to grounded.  All the panel boards are 3 phase, 4 wires.  The building also has PV trays covering the atrium skylight and occupancy and daylight sensors to help reduce the electricity usage of the building.

The way this building is designed there is a lot of natural lighting.  Every light in the building is also hooked up to an occupancy sensor to help conserve energy.  Each room also has daylight sensors to adjust the lighting based upon the natural light coming into the building.


Fire Protection

This building contains both active and passive systems.  All the structural steel has either intumescent paint or spray one fire proofing to protect them.  The building also has a sprinkler system throughout the entire building.  By code the exterior colonnade is required to be sprinkled and as a result there are wet and dry systems incorporated in this building.  The Atrium is a large open space and 4 stories high the three penthouses on top of the office building each have a large fan that sucks the all the smoke and air out of this space.  Once the smoke alarm goes off and these fans start up the smoke hatch that each fan’s ductwork hooks up to pops open.



There was a limited amount of parking on site, therefore an offsite park down the street was used for parking for the contractors.  A bus would constantly transport the workers back and forth from the parking lot to the jobsite.  During construction a dual car lift that was attached to the exterior of the building was used for vertical transportation.  It was attached to a loading dock right by the entrance making it convenient for deliveries.  The workers were also allowed to use these cars but deliveries had priority because inside the building contained two scaffold staircases at either end of the building.  Once the exterior stairs were completed these were taken down.  The exterior lift was also taken down when the elevators for the building were complete and received certificates to be used during construction.





All of the labs and offices are equipped with the best technology systems.  All the workstations have ample amounts of plugs, Ethernet connections, and wireless.  All the offices have their own phone.  Conference rooms in the offices side of the building are equipped with projection screens and all the technology to have video conferences.


All the entrances to the building are equipped with card swipe access and cameras constantly monitoring them.  There are more cameras equipped throughout the building for security.  The security system is constantly monitored by the university.