The Tepper Quad Project provides students and faculty with modern facilities including a 600-seat auditorium, a fitness center, and an abundance of study and social spaces. As well as accommodating 40% higher student enrollment for 2019, the School has been designed from the inside out with the flexibility to adapt to the demands of an ever-changing educational landscape.
BuroHappold Engineering’s pioneering use of BubbleDeck technology within our structural design proved revolutionary in the realization of the Business School. As this was a new concept in the US, we worked closely with our client and the contractor to prove the value of our approach and ensure its successful application. Because BubbleDeck contains 35% less concrete than traditional solid structural slabs, it significantly reduced the embodied energy of the building by 30%. In combination with our loft-style MEP strategy, which integrates services distribution within the ceiling voids, this solution enabled us to save floor-to-floor height throughout the building, and reduce its overall height by 10ft in line with local planning limits.
BubbleDeck technology incorporates recycled plastic balls within concrete to create a honeycomb structure that is as strong as a solid concrete slab, yet weighs 35% less. The balls that run through a BubbleDeck slab are made from recycled high density polyethylene, which comes from reject plastic kayaks. Carnegie Mellon University is the first university to use BubbleDeck technology in Pennsylvania, and with a total floor area of 300,000ft2, it is the largest floor area of any BubbleDeck building in the U.S.
To see more amazing entries from this year’s WAN Awards please click here.