CPennsylvania State University Millennium Science Complex in State College, Pa. Courtesy High Concrete Group LLC.

Pennsylvania State University Millennium Science Complex



Thornton Tomasetti provided design services for a four-story L-shaped facility consisting of a western Life Sciences II wing and a northern Materials Science wing. The footprint of each wing is approximately 550 feet long by 110 feet wide and the roof steps back 110 feet at every level creating five green roof terraces to meet LEED certification.

The materials research program provides clean room space and user facilities with several characterization and fabrication tools housed in a quiet space with low acoustic and electromagnetic noise, suitable for future generations of image analysis instruments. This quiet space is structurally isolated from the rest of the building and situated on 24-inch-thick slabs on grade at the intersection of the two wings to meet strict vibration criteria. Each wing of the building cantilevers 154 feet over the quiet room space to avoid transmitting vibrations from building columns. In addition, typical bay sizes were restricted to 22 feet by 22 feet to achieve better vibration performance.

The entire project team effectively collaborated on utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, using Autodesk Revit as a primary tool for information exchange, and coordination during the design and construction phases.

Located at the heart of Penn State’s University Park campus, this facility provides a central location for faculty and students involved in materials research to collaborate across departmental boundaries.

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