Building Statistcis



Figure 1 - North Elevation Rendering (permission of RPBW)


The Building Name, Location, and Occupant are withheld by request of the owner

General Building Data

Occupancy or function: A-3 – Assembly, Other
Size: 220,000 sq.ft.
Number of stories: 9 above grade, 2 below grade
Dates of Constrcution May 2011 - December 2014
Cost: $266,345,323 (GMP)
Project Delivery Method: Single Prime Contract, Typical Design-Bid-Build (GMP)

Primary Project Team

Owner Representative: Gardiner & Theobald, Inc.
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Executive Architect: Cooper, Robertson & Partners
Design Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Civil: Phillip Habib & Associates
Structural: Robert Silman Associates
MEP: Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Lighting: ARUP
Geotechnical: URS Corporation
Curtain Wall: Heintges & Associates
Acoustics: Cerami Associates
Environmental: AKRF, Inc.
LEED Consultant: Viridian Energy and Environmental, LLC
Architecture Overview/History

The new art museum replaces the current site of the owner.  At 200,000 square feet, the 9-story facility will house 50,000 square feet of indoor gallery space, outdoor exhibition space, classrooms, an auditorium, a conservation lab, a library reading room, and an outdoor public plaza.  Renzo Piano’s design sought to use these spaces to engage the community and adjacent city blocks, where warehouses, distribution centers, and food processing plants are being replaced by art galleries and renovated shops and offices.

While the building’s structure is comprised of concrete slab on composite metal deck on steel frame, Piano uses a combination of precast concrete panels, stainless steel sheets, and glazing, seen in Figure 1.  The asymmetric shape of the building features step backs on the east side, pitched walls, and exposed cooling towers.

Major Code Requirements

International Code Council (ICC), 2007 edition (IBC, etc.) in conjunction with state amendments were the major national code authority for the museum.

Zoning Requirements

M 1-5 (Light Manufacturing District, High Performance)

Building Enclosure

A system of steel plate Rainscreen cladding, precast concrete, and glazing will cover 110,000 square feet of the building’s surface at a module of 3’- 4” wide. The glass wall in the lobby will be supported by a cable system, while other exterior walls will be stud-supported or mullion-supported.

Eight different roofing systems accommodate the different functions of the roofs at their levels. Typically, a wearing surface of either gravel or concrete covers rigid insulation, a PMAA waterproofing membrane, which sits on metal deck.  Most of the roof systems act as the outdoor gallery space on the architectural step-backs. Additionally, a green roof sits at the base of the cooling towers with 4” of soil.

At gallery level 6 a clearstory system (Figure 2) allows diffuse natural light into the gallery below.  There the roof system is spec’d with thermally broken structure with mineral fiber insulation.  Glass units are further explained in the sustainability features section below.

Figure 2 - 6th Floor Roof Detail

Sustainability Features

The museum design takes a whole-project approach to sustainability in pursuit of LEED silver certification.  Its urban setting offers opportunities for alternate transportation and community connectivity.  While there is a green roof, it is inaccessible. Additionally, the use of specific sealants, refrigerants, plumbing appliances, and construction waste management contribute to the LEED score.

The lighting systems are perhaps the most significant sustainability features in this building.  Though priority is given to the color, intensity, UV content, and duration of light, ARUP took advantage of natural lighting where possible.  Spaces such as the lobby, the auditorium, and the sixth-floor gallery can be lit naturally and adjusted through the use of diffusing elements, black-out curtains, or, alternately, with low-wattage lamps such as LEDs.  The glass units used in the sixth-floor clearstory are specifically detailed with low-iron content and a PVB layer to achieve natural colorations (CRI > 97) and low-UV ratings.

Structural Systems

AAM sits on drilled concrete caissons encased in steel with diameters of either 9.875” or 13.375” capped by pile caps. From the foundation level at 32’ below grade, 10 levels rise on steel columns and trusses. Each floor is designed for steel/concrete composite bending. The lateral system consists primarily of braced frames spanning several stories. At some levels however, the floor system uses HSS diagonal bracing between beams and girders to create a rigid diaphragm that also transfers the lateral loads between staggered bracing. Moment frames are used for localized stability purposes. While masonry is used in AAM it is used for fire rating purposes only.


Special considerations for AAM's construction are largely resultant from the site. The Eastern portion of the building rests on origiinal soil, while the Western portion sits on fill material from previous demolitions. A river along the Western edge makes the water table high (about 7 ft below street level). This predicament meant the secant/perimeter wall had to be poured in tandem with excavation, and that 42" steel pipes had to be used to reinforce the excavated portions before the erection of the structural steel. Also, a desedimentation and pumping station was constructed on-site to cope with water seeping into the basement excavation.


AAM boasts a highly complex HVAC system to cope with the high demands and variety of its spaces. Most spaces, including the galleries, storage, and restoration spaces have VAV systems with return air, while the Kitchens and MEP rooms are served by 100% outside air CAV systems. As mentioned above, a 5-cell, 30,000 gpm cooling tower sits on top of the roof. This cooling tower, along with (3) 140 gpm, 42,000 cfm air conditioners and (2) 30 gpm boilers serve as the main VAV system for the building. Three mechanical riser spaces serve the upper floors of the building, with return air and reheat stations placed throughout.


A 120/208 Volt, three-phase electrical system serves AAM through (3) 4,000 Amp switchboards at the cellar level. The lighting systems are meticulously specified to produce excellent lighting in the gallery spaces while reducing energy costs where possible. For uniformity, all lighting in AAM is specified to have a 3000K CCT. Areas where artwork will be displayed are required to have lights that provide a CRI of 90 or better, and have UV filters to minimize damage. Allowable power usage ranges from 0.8 W/sqft in storage to 6 W/sqft in the galleries.


A service core runs through the middle of AAM. In the center of the building is an elevator bank with 3 passenger elevators. These run through all the public spaces from a cellar mezzanine through the Level 8 Gallery. adjacent to those elevators lies the main service elevator which runs the entire height of the building and is responsible for conveying the large and heavy artwork that AAM will display. That elevator can carry 20,000lb at a speed of 100fpm. An additional service elevator is on the West edge of the building and runs between the level 1 cafe and the basement kitchen.


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-inprogress 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 Sean Felton. 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 April 22, 2013 by Sean Felton and is hosted by the AE Department ©2011