Exhibit and Conference Center

Grand River Center

IMEG served as the design engineer for the City of Dubuque’s new education and conference center. The facility is part of an $188,000,000 downtown redevelopment of the Mississippi River front. The new education and conference center includes classrooms, distance learning, and assembly spaces, and will be used as exhibit space for environmental education, corporate training, association conferences, and regional and national events.


Structurally, the building posed many challenges due to the site condition and architectural design. The geotechnical survey of the site indicated thick seams of poor materials and fills, including a 14-foot seam of sawdust from when the site was used as a lumber yard. A combination of auger cast piles and stone columns were used to support the foundation system and the slab-on-grade.


The curves of the roofline are developed through the use of special joists with curved top chords spanning the 150-foot exhibition hall, exposed trusses with curved bottom and top chords spanning the spine of the convention center, and standard framing over the meeting rooms.


The spine of the facility acts as the entrance and primary circulation area, and culminates in the River Room, which cantilevers 30 feet beyond the Mississippi floodwall. The 40-foot tall room is wrapped in glass and supported back to the main building with an exposed truss system.



Dubuque, IA



120,000 SF



Structural, MEP/FT, Telecom, Audio/Visual, Architectural Lighting