Chemistry South Renovation and Expansion. Wayne State University

"Among the benefits I have enjoyed with DeMaria was the effectiveness of their preconstruction services. Getting to the GMP has always been easy."

Project Details

DeMaria recently completed the second phase of the entire $60M Chemistry Building Expansion and Renovation Project.  The addition included a new building entrance, a multi-purpose communicating space with a 65’ high glass curtain wall, cherry wood veneer acoustic wood panels installed on the existing building façade, and a new lecture hall constructed of curved, sloped, angled pre-cast concrete panels with 150 seats, along with curved acoustic wood panels throughout.  An office suite with Mankato stone façade for the Chemistry Department Chair was also included.

One of the largest challenges of this project was building the addition—which had a very tight footprint. This included earth retention auger cast piles with lagging to allow site access around the basement foundation. Due to poor soil-bearing capacity, the building utilized caissons for the expansion foundation.  Since this was such a tight site, coordination with subcontractor deliveries was key to allow a positive workflow throughout the site.

The renovation included a complete interior demolition and rebuild of 96,000 sf of laboratory space.  Wayne State’s goal was to make this building more efficient, thus improving the operating costs for the University.  In order to accomplish this, DeMaria revamped the existing mechanical— adding new chillers, cooling towers and AHU’s. The electrical was also upgraded by adding a new switchgear to handle the building’s new loads with capability to handle future loads.  A new elevator was also installed in the existing building that travels from the basement to the 4th floor.  The foundation for the new elevator was constructed utilizing helical piers to eliminate vibration, noise, and fumes due to extremely sensitive research equipment located adjacent to the new elevator.

DeMaria incorporated a white roof, a green roof, FSC wood throughout the communication space, and many other sustainable features on this three year project.  Wayne State is currently seeking LEED Silver status.