Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Courtesy Perkins+Will (left) and James Steinkamp / Steinkamp Photography (right).

Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center



Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design of an 89,000-square-foot signature building that houses meeting rooms, work spaces, a 9,000-square-foot ballroom, classrooms, a dining area, a lounge and a lobby. The new modern and progressive student center is at the heart of the campus, which encourages formal and informal student gatherings.

The building’s three wings form a pathway between the North Campus and the Case Quad, creating an inviting, open area where students can interact. The west edge of the building overlaps the existing below-grade parking garage, which necessitated the design of cantilevered first-floor framing to avoid loading the existing structure and to allow the area of the garage to remain in service during construction.

To achieve LEED Gold, the building’s windows were designed to minimize heat gain and its sloping green roofs absorb rainwater. Flat-panel solar panel collectors, radiant heating and a two-story double-air curtain wall reduce heating and cooling costs and help keep operating costs down.

Complicated building geometry, including multiple sloped roof planes, required meticulous building information modeling to facilitate coordination between the design team members. Additional structural challenges included designing modifications to standard steel framing members and integrating numerous MEP penetrations through the structure to meet tight ceiling height requirements and designing façade support steel and a monumental staircase. The project was completed on schedule and on budget.

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