IMEG provided MEP and structural design for the new College of Pharmacy building at the University of Iowa. The 200,000-sf structure, currently pursuing LEED Platinum certification, offers substantial upgrades to a facility that originally opened in 1963 and properly reflects the innovations of the department in the 21st century.
The facility consists of two adjoining structures that provide research and teaching laboratories, classrooms, student interaction spaces, offices, conference room, and a state-of-the-art, 13,000-sf sterile manufacturing suite to grant students practical experience through the entire drug-development process.
Since vibration control is critical for today’s modern lab equipment and procedures, IMEG evaluated several framing systems early in design to determine the most cost-effective system to meet the lab building’s stringent vibration criteria. The six-story structure utilizes wide module concrete pan joist framing for the elevated floor decks. The building lateral system is comprised of concrete moment frames combined with concrete shear walls at the building stair wells and elevator shafts. The basement level is 24 feet below the first floor to allow a pharmaceutical manufacturing tenant to occupy the basement level. The foundations are concrete drilled piers extending 30 feet deep to bedrock. The mechanical penthouse at the roof level is framed with structural steel to reduce the weight and cost of this space at roof level.
The adjacent three-story, steel-framed classroom building is currently pursuing LEED certification and houses a multi-purpose lecture hall on the first floor, a tiered classroom directly above on the second floor, and offices on the third floor. The placement of lecture hall and classrooms at the lower levels required long span framing at the elevated floors to create the column-free spaces. Since the building height is limited, the elevated floors utilize heavy, wide-flange members as the main beams with shallower infill members to provide adequate space for MEP routing and the taller ceilings the architect desired. Because deflection and vibration control are critical for long span framing, IMEG chose steel moment frames as the main lateral system to provide the most open floor space while also providing the most economical design, given structure depth restrictions. Some areas of long span framing had openings through beams for MEP and sprinkler items, which had to be coordinated. The main lobby has a three-story atrium space with a 53-foot-tall curtain wall system overlooking the exterior courtyard. IMEG evaluated several framing scenarios for exterior wall of the atrium and chose to use large columns with infill tubes matching mullions to provide the open look the architect desired. A full green roof also will be available as an assembly space for multiple functions.