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McCarthy Building Companies: Top Builder Completes Engineered Biosystems Project at Georgia Tech
Atlanta — Sept. 25, 2015 — McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., one of the nation’s leading builders in higher education, announced the completion of the new Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The 220,000-square-foot building, totaling $91 million in construction costs, includes several communal areas aimed at fostering collaboration among researchers across disciplines.
A phased approach was taken in the mobilization of the construction work in that construction began midway through the preconstruction phase of the project. This allowed McCarthy to provide constructability feedback early on in the process to ensure that Georgia Tech’s high standards were met.
Sustainable features such as rooftop photovoltaic panels, low-e glass, sun shades on the exterior of the building, chilled beams, and groundwater, rain, and condensation harvesting are just a few of the environmentally friendly features of this facility.
“Laboratories are commonly known as energy guzzlers due to the intense mechanical and electrical demands,” said Ben Watkins, McCarthy’s EBB project director. “However, Georgia Tech, the design teams, and McCarthy were all focused on making this facility as sustainable as possible. “
One of the most impressive sustainability features of the building is the 365 active chilled beams. There was originally some hesitation about this addition due to the humid Atlanta climate, but a side-by-side experiment with HVAC was conducted on campus and proved the beams would significantly minimize energy for heating and cooling.
Leveraging sufficient daylight to minimize the need for artificial lighting while not adding to the building’s heating load, was a major factor in several aspects of the design including:
• More than 12,100 square feet of vertical perforated zinc panels, shade glass panels, and windows on the exterior surfaces receiving the most direct sunlight.
• A three-level system of light shelves using sections of three-layer laminated glass 50 feet long and 4 feet wide to reflect light deep into the interior.
• Metal horizontal lattice elements extend horizontally from the rooftop photovolatic arrays to provide shade.
Cooper Carry Inc., of Atlanta, was head project architect in collaboration with Lake Flato Architects, of San Antonio, Texas.
Additional EBB construction figures include:
• About 40,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated from the site.
• About 10,000 cubic yards of concrete were used in the infrastructure.
• The basement level is about 40 feet underground.
The building has a permanent foundation drainage system to accommodate the groundwater present at such a deep elevation. EBB has seven stories: five above ground, as well as a basement level and a mechanical penthouse.