Drexel University Edmund Bossone Research Center


Enlarge/view more »

Construction Cost: $39.5 million
Building Gross Area: 150,000 sq ft new construction and 116,000 sq ft renovation
Completion Date: 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Architect: Burt Hill
Contact: David Madeira
Telephone #: 215-665-7000

New construction of a state-of-the-art wet laboratory facility to accommodate Drexel University’s new Research Program. The complex was designed by the internationally renowned architectural firm, Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and administered by the local architectural firm, Burt Hill Architects. The project scope included a new building designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and a completely renovated Commonwealth Hall. The Commonwealth Hall included removal and replacement of windows, brick facades, and M, P & E Systems with new energy efficient systems. The addition of an existing seven-story structure which houses new classrooms, laboratory spaces, administrative suites, lecture/auditorium rooms and a seven-story glass pyramid shape atrium was also constructed with energy efficiencies in mind. The new HVAC Systems included a heat recovery system for the building design with 100% outside return air. In addition, a Diurnal Ice Storage (DIS) Cooling Systems provided a more cost efficient solution by building ice during off-peak hours during the cooling season. Special attention to solar harvesting and shading was also a large part of the sustainable design and construction for this project.


Approach and Challenges

The project site afforded a modest lay-down area for construction activities within an active urban campus setting. In order to renovate the existing structure and construct the new structure extensive preplanning was required. P. Agnes provided multiple schedule, sequencing, and logistic plans for the Owner to make the best decisions as it related to cost and disturbance to existing facility. Based on these efforts it was determined to renovate the existing building partially occupied in lieu of splitting the projects up into two separate phases. By being proactive, flexible, and informative, P. Agnes was able to create a plan that best suited the needs of Drexel University within the project budget and delivered the project ahead of the original two phase schedule.