General Project Information

Building Name: George Pearl Hall
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Occupant: University of New Mexico, School of Architecture and Planning
Function: Classroom/Office/Studio/Library
Size: 108,000 GSF/ 74,698NSF
Height: 67.5 feet
Number of Stories: 3 stories + Mezzanine +Basement
Construction Dates: Nov 2005 (Contractor receives “notice to procees” construction begins for new School facility) - Sept 2007 (Construction completed)

Project:  $29M                            Construction: $22M

Delivery Method:

Design-bid-build (lowest bidder) 65% complete drawings to lowest bidder, used value-engineering to lower the price


Project Team

Owner: University of New Mexico www.unm.edu
Design Architect: Antione Predock Architect www.predock.com
Executive Architect: Jon Anderson Archiect www.jonandersonarchitect.com
General Contractor: Jaynes www.jaynescorp.com
Structural Engineer: Chavez-Grieves www.cg-engrs.com
Civil Engineer: Jeff Mortensen & Associates www.highmesacg.com
MEP Engineer: Bridges & Paxton www.bpce.com
Mechanical Contractor: Yearout Mechanical www.yearout.com
Electrical Contractor: McDade-Woodcock www.mwieic.com
Glass and Glazing: Southwest Glass www.southwestglass.com
Concrete Supplier: LaFarge www.lafarge.com
Energy Consultant: The Weidt Group www.twgi.com



George Pearl Hall is located along old Route 66 at the edge of the University of New Mexico campus (Figure 1 and 2).  Antione Predock’s George Pearl Hall has elements of the traditional Spanish-Pueblo style in buildings across the UNM campus.  Yet, it had been called “tectonically expressive and formally complex.”  The building in plan holds to the rectangular site. Yet, the interaction between the architectural concrete walls, structural steel ceiling beams and glazing systems demonstrates the complex relationship between plan and section. Pearl Hall houses the School of Architecture for the University, The Perish Memorial Fine Arts Library and numerous classrooms, faculty offices and a first floor patio and breezeway.  Predock intended to create a building where students could be educated through the architecture by seeing structural supports such as wide flange beams as well as the conduits and duct work.  The studio spaces are hung from four giant, 90-foot long steel trusses, which also support the library occupying the top floor. 

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Figure 1: Site Plan                              Figure 2: George Pearl Hall (Credit: Kirk Gittings)
(Credit: Jon Anderson Architect)

Major Codes

The main building code used is the 2003 International Building Code (IBC 2003). By this code, this building is a Mixed-Use Occupancy: “Assemby A-3 and Business B”.  The building must also abide by the 2003 International Mechanical Code (IMC 2003), the 2003 International Electrical Code (IEC 2003), the 2003 International Fire Code (IFC 2003) with Local Amendments, and the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, (LSC) 2003.


George Pearl Hall is located on a residential zone R-1 based upon the zoning map for Albuquerque. Therefore, it must have at least a front and rear yard setback of not less than 20 feet.  It has to be 11 feet from the public sidewalk or planned public sidewalk location, or 14 feet from the edge of the street pavement, whichever is more restrictive.  In addition, the building has a building story restriction of 5 stories due to the University of New Mexico Design Guidelines. 

Historical Requirements

This building has no historical requirements.


Building Enclosure

The facade is comprised of large cantilevered concrete and glass sections on the south side (Figure 3). The north, east and west walls are framed with steel studs and glass windows.  A massive plenum wall of cast-in-place concrete is cantilevered from the west and east corners.  That wall splits open to the center to reveal a recessed curtain wall of steel, aluminum, and a glass with deep louvers shading the interior.  Albuquerque’s climate was factored into the construction, so that the massive southern wall and the concrete floors throughout help to stabilize temperature shifts.  The southern wall also serves as a plenum chamber for HVAC air circulation which is part of the mechanical system (Figure 3).
George Pearl Hall includes both high and low roof levels.  The roofing system on the building is supported by 5” normal weight reinforced concrete with type “C”, 20 gage galvanized form deck and a 1” rigid polystyrene board insulation.  In addition, there is a green roof located at the south-east side of the building (Figure 4).








Figure 3: South Wall Diagram (Credit: Jon Anderson Architect)

Sustainability Features

George Pearl Hall applies sustainable design standards to the building.  Local/regional materials were purchased including concrete and courtyard sandstone pavers.  Deep louvers control direct sun to minimize heat gain and glare (Figure 4).  In addition, light shelves reflect sun onto the interior ceiling providing indirect light.  Low-e solarban 60 glazing is used in combination with fritted glass on the east and west elevations to control heat gain.  A setback for overhanging studios and the critique bridge are established by the winter solstice altitude angle to maximize winter sun and minimize summer sun.   Also, the roof drains are directed to storage tanks providing irrigation water for the green roof planting beds (Figure 5). 

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Figure 4: Louvers along south side of George Pearl Hall.     Figure 5: Green Roof.  


Structural Systems

George Pearl Hall consists of three levels, a basement, and a mezzanine.  The building footprint is approximately 35,000 square feet in plan dimension.  The floors are comprised of concrete over acoustic metal deck supported by composite steel beams and steel girders.  Four wide flange steel trusses span 96 feet, to provide a column-free 96-foot breezeway at the ground level. The south side walls are comprised of large cantilevered concrete and glass sections. The north, east and west walls are framed with steel studs and glass windows.

Pearl Hall is mainly steel frame construction with concrete shear walls.  The floors system utilized in Pearl Hall is composite deck.  The library is located on Level 4.  Therefore, the larger gravity load on the floor required the use of the four, 96 foot trusses to help distribute the load throughout the building, to the foundation.  The foundation of the building consists of a Geopier system, which are aggregate piers. The lateral stability of the steel frame is dependent upon the concrete shear walls.  Another interesting structural feature is the curved beam supporting the auditorium on the lower level.

Electrical Systems

The electricity enters Pearl Hall through a main feed at 12.47 kV. Main power is fed at 280Y/120 V, 3-phase 4 wire.  Once the electricity enters the building through the basement and into the electrical room, there are two 5,000 kVA transformers.  The transformers are two-winding type, 3-phase units using one coil per phase in primary and secondary.  The feeders connect to the main building medium-voltage switchgear with a maximum design voltage of 15.5kV.  The switch has two incoming switches for manual source selection and one for an outgoing fault interrupting load switch.  There is a packaged engine generator for emergency power supply to serve Pearl Hall.  The packaged engine generator set is located outdoors in a weatherproof enclosure.  The engine generator is mounted on a concrete pad.  The set is to be fully interconnected with the automatic transfer switch (ATS). 

Mechanical Systems

Using the existing central utility plant and campus loop, steam and chilled water enter Pearl Hall through the basement level.  All the utility and service functions are concentrated in the basement mechanical room.  There is a building energy management system implemented as Direct Digital Control (DDC). 
The building is supplied by (2) air handling units: one- 40,000 CFM air handling unit (AHU) and one-53,000 CFM AHU.  There are thirteen fan coil units ranging from 400-2390 CFM.  Chilled water serves Pearl Hall by a connection to the campus piping system and enters the building as the basement level.  The chilled water is distributed to all air handling units, and fan coil units throughout the building.  The main AHUs are located in the mechanical room on the Mezzanine floor and in the Basement Fan Room.  A specified outside air unit provides outside air to the studio floor.  The studio floor is conditioned by a radiant effect rather than the conventional all air supplied convective cooling and heating.  The Studio floor uses radiant floors and radiant ceilings.  All other floors are supplied by all air VAV systems.


In November 2005, the contractor received “notice to proceed,” and construction was completed in September 2007.  As design-bid-build, the project was rewarded to the lowest bidder.  There was a design competition and the winner was Antione Predock.  Antione Predock worked with the executive architect Jon Anderson.  Jon Anderson architects produced the design drawings.  Due to the extremely tight budget, the design team used value-engineering to lower costs and produce a more efficient design.


Lighting fixtures predominately run at 277 V. The majority of the lighting is provided by a combination of fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), and incandescent lighting.  The interior lighting fixtures include: fluorescent fixtures that conform to UL 1570, HID fixtures that conform to UL 1029 and ANSI C82.4, incandescent fixtures that conform to UL 1571, and track lighting systems to conform to UL 1574.  The exterior lighting fixtures include: fluorescent fixtures that conform to UL 1570, HID fixtures that conform to UL 1572, and incandescent fixtures that conform to UL 1571.

Transportation Systems

The transportation in Pearl Hall is guided by an open stairway, two enclosed stairways, and two passenger elevators. The elevators are designed for a 3,500# capacity at 200 feet per minute (fpm).  The Gen2 Gearless Traction elevators by Ottis Elevator Company are electric traction passenger elevators with the top of hoistway mounted gearless machine not requiring a separate machine room. 

Fire Protection

Automatic sprinklers were provided throughout the building in accordance with the NFPA Standard No. 13 and 101 requirements and recommendations and the IBC.  Quick response sprinklers were used with three design densities for: Light Hazard Areas, Ordinary Hazard Group I Areas, and Ordinary Hazard Group II Areas.  A class one wet standpipe system was used to protect the entire building.  The standpipe system is a combined system providing supply to the hose outlets and the fire sprinkler system. 



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 Nicole Trujillo. 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.

Senior Thesis | Penn State | AE Department | AE Computer Labs | nbt5004@psu.edu

This page was last updated on 4/22/2012 by Nicole Trujillo and is hosted by the AE Department ©2011