C+S March 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 3 (web)

Fermilab – Integrated Engineering Research Center

Figure 1: IERC Isometric of Structural BIM model

Fermilab, the premier particle physics laboratory in the U.S., will soon add a new building to its campus: the Integrated Engineering Research Center (IERC). IERC will unite scientists and engineers from across the 6,800-acre Fermilab campus into a new facility, designed with a primary focus of fostering a collaborative spirit. When completed, IERC will be the most high-profile building constructed on the campus since the iconic Wilson Hall opened in 1973. The approximately 85,000 ft 2 , two-story structure is a combination of laboratories, offices, and collaborative spaces to support ongoing par- ticle physics research, including the Deep Underground Neutrino Ex- periment (DUNE). Currently, scientists and engineers at Fermilab are spread throughout the sprawling campus, and IERC seeks to improve operational efficiency by co-locating research and engineering teams to a single building, with direct access to the principal administrative hub of Wilson Hall. Site work began in 2019. Building construction began in December 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Architecture firm Perkins & Will designed the IERC, while Arup provided structural engineering, as well as the mechanical, electri- cal, plumbing and fire protection engineering (MEP/FP), fire & life safety consulting, acoustical consulting, lighting design, information technology & communications (ITC) design, and audiovisual design. TERRA Engineering Ltd. provided civil engineering design services and Patrick Engineering Inc. provided the geotechnical services. Existing Site Conditions and Utility Work The location of the building provided numerous challenges to the con- figuration of existing campus distribution utility arrangements. It will be constructed on top of an existing parking lot hosting major utility distribution and a reflecting pond, which was previously utilized as part of the campus’ stormwater management strategy. The building extents were constrained by the linear accelerator beam line and re- quired safety offsets to the east, the existing Wilson Hall and horseshoe drive to the west, and an access drive to the south. The list of civil and utility items to address in the design and site con- struction was significant, and included: • Modification of the site drainage strategy due to the elimination of a sur- face detention pond • Relocation of a portion of the campus’s primary communications duct bank and a significant electrical distribution artery • Relocation of major storm lines and addition of a lift station • Relocation of domestic and industrial cooling water distribution pipe networks Floor Framing Systems The IERC includes one elevated occupied floor (Level 1), a large roof and a sloping clerestory along the west side of the building. The foot-

Figure 2: Cross Section thru the IERC

print of the building is roughly 415 feet long and 105 feet wide. Figure 1 shows an isometric of the structural BIM model and Figure 2 is a cross section through the structure. Level 1 consists of structural steel framing supporting concrete on composite metal deck slabs. A 3” deck with 4.5” normal weight con- crete topping was used for enhanced acoustical and vibration perfor- mance. The roof and clerestory utilize structural steel framing and an un-topped metal roof deck. Large portions of the roof will support a green roof assembly requiring increased design loads on these areas. The ground floor is composed of slab-on-grade construction. Based on required lab modules, the typical column spacing in the long direction of the building is 33 feet. Column spacing in the other direction varies with a maximum of ~41 feet. Due to the overall floor- to-floor heights needed to align the IERC with Wilson Hall, as well as required clear height and ductwork for the labs, structural framing depth at Level 1 is limited. As a result, W24s are the largest beams and girders used. The load demands at the roof are less, and lighter W24 sections are suitable in all girder conditions. As can be seen in Figure 2, there are a number of cantilevered condi- tions at the perimeter on both levels and the clerestory. On the east face, posts were added between Level 1 and the roof near the ends of the cantilevers to control differential deflections between the floors and limit the required façade joint sizes. These deflections are due to live load and potentially superimposed dead load as the installation of the green roof will likely occur after the façade is installed. On the west face, the Level 1 cantilevers support a portion of the narrow segment of propped roof cantilevers above it via posts. Initially, it was thought that moment-resisting thermal breaks in the cantilever steel framing would be required at all overhang conditions. After working with Perkins & Will and Arup’s mechanical engineers


march 2021


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