University of Pennsylvania Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion

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project at a glance

This five-story, 122,400 square foot new teaching and research facility represented the first new construction at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine in over 20 years.  The building includes small seminar rooms, library space, research laboratories, a vivarium, lecture halls, and a conference center.

Construction was very challenging due to the building being built on a brownfield site amidst roads, a subway tunnel, and the operating veterinary hospital.  Before construction could occur, roads and intersections had to be relocated and the site had to be dewatered and waterproofed.  The building itself is a structural steel frame with composite slab-on-deck, anchored by a reinforced mat foundation slab consisting of concrete of varying thickness and elevation, with 14 caissons on the north side.  To ensure that the vibrations from the subway do not affect research, 1,600 springs were cast into the slab to isolate the interior structure. 

The exterior wall system is composed of colored, precast concrete panels integrated with brick, metal panels and curtain wall.  The interior includes all new finishes, architectural millwork, terrazzo floors, acoustical ceilings, and laboratory equipment.  The mechanical and electrical systems include new air handling units, ductwork, mechanical piping, glycol system, laboratory gas distribution equipment, water processing equipment, new electrical distribution equipment, emergency power system, and fixtures.

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