Category Archives: Form+Function

Fire-rated Glass Floor Captures the Light at Northwestern

At Northwestern University, this fire-rated glass floor provides a barrier to flames and smoke, but offers daylighting and a unique look. Photo courtesy Technical Glass Products

Located in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University’s Engineering Life Sciences infill is a bright, multi-disciplinary space with collaborative gathering areas and cutting-edge classrooms, laboratories, and research rooms. The expansion rises five stories, bridging two of the campus’ existing building wings. It is designed to Silver standards under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

“The original building had courtyards that were turned into parking lots,” explains Matt Garrett, project …

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Concreting a Space for Learning

Architectural rendering of the Farmington Area Public Library. Image courtesy Farmington Area Public Library

The current library in Farmington, Illinois—a 278-m2 (3000-sf) building dating back to 1906—is finally being replaced with a sustainable, sound-resistant facility employing insulated concrete forms (ICFs).

ICFs were specified for the new 836-m2 (9000-sf) Farmington Area Public Library project due to their ability to cut energy costs by as much as 70 percent. The material also creates a resilient building envelope that can withstand hurricane and tornado impacts of up to 402 km/h (250 mph).

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New animal hospital facility goes green

Modesto, California’s Beckwith Animal Hospital includes two buildings—a 1300-m2 (14,000-sf) small-animal facility, and a large animal center of about 278 m2 (3000 sf). Photos courtesy Kingspan Insualted Panels

by Eric Jurus

The Beckwith Animal Hospital in Modesto, California, was envisioned with state-of-the-art equipment, sustainable features, and the comfort of its four-legged occupants in mind.

A veterinarian at the center, Michael O’Brien, PhD, envisioned an environmentally responsible structure that was also visually interesting. Pires, Lipomi + Navarro, a firm specializing in medical facilities, put careful planning toward both the building’s look and function.

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New Lockers Bring Durability and Longevity to Cologne Academy

The Cologne Academy is a charter school in Cologne, Minnesota, with 460 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Photos courtesy Scranton Products

By David Casal

The halls of Cologne Academy, a charter school in Cologne, Minnesota, now boasts stylish, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lockers in the school’s colors—blue and yellow.

An alternative to traditional public schools, Cologne Academy operates as an independent, publicly funded school district. It became Carver County’s first public charter school in 2008 with 127 students. After the opening, three additional buildings were constructed on the campus, and the school now houses more than 460 …

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Woven Metal Mesh Gives an Artistic Look to a Long Beach Courthouse

The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse building needed to ensure safety and security as well as incorporate an art application. 
Photos © Javier Rivero Diaz

By Steve Culver

A new courthouse in Long Beach, California, is the country’s first social infrastructure project procured under performance-based infrastructure (PBI) contracting.

Under a public-private partnership (P3), the cost and risk of the Governor George Deukmejian courthouse—including development, design, construction, operations, and maintenance—were transferred from the public sector to a private-sector team. The new 49,330-m2 (531,000-sf) facility replaces the old functionally obsolete building located a block away.

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Walking the Walk

A clear-span steel structural system was chosen to accommodate heavy equipment at the Washington Electric Cooperative project in Marietta, Ohio. A standing-steam metal roof system was specified to provide relief from the leaks of the former facilities.
 Photos © D.A. Fleischer Photography

Energy distributor makes efficiency top priority

By Kevin Hutchings

Maximizing energy efficiency is a key concern on virtually every new commercial construction project. When the construction happens to be for the electric provider itself, it is easy to understand how the priority takes on even greater importance. This was the case for Washington Electric Cooperative, an energy distributor located in Marietta, Ohio.

The company had been operating for years out of three separate …

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