CRE Midwest

Two Thornton Tomasetti projects win Chicago Building Congress Merit Awards

International engineering firm, Thornton Tomasetti, has announced that two of its projects have received Merit Awards from the Chicago Building Congress (CBC).

International engineering firm, Thornton Tomasetti, has announced that two of its projects have received Merit Awards from the Chicago Building Congress (CBC).

The University of Chicago Saieh Hall for Economics in Chicago was honored in the Construction Owners Association of America, Owner’s Choice and Rehab Reconstruction (CBC/COAA) categories, while the Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Protein Characterization Facility in Argonne, Illinois was recognized in the New Construction Suburbs category. The awards were presented at the CBC Merit Awards Dinner at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

Thornton Tomasetti's William Bast and Ken Maschke worked on Saieh Hall, and Helen Torres worked on the Argonne facility.

Additionally, two other Thornton Tomasetti projects were finalists: Northwestern Medicine – 25 East Erie in the New Construction over $55 Million category, and the Rees House relocation in the Rehab Construction category.

Since 1956, the Chicago Building Congress Merit Award program has celebrated the building industry annually by recognizing outstanding projects in the Greater Chicago area. Merit Awards are presented in nine categories and based on such criteria as distinctive, functional or innovative design, quality of construction and impact on the community.

University of Chicago Saieh Hall for Economics:

  • The University of Chicago purchased the former Chicago Theological Seminary, which is composed of seven buildings, to become the new home of the Saieh Hall for Economics. Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering for the campus expansion and adaptive reuse of the existing buildings.
  • The existing structures required a substantial rehabilitation and extensive underpinning and earth retention systems to accommodate offices, classrooms, seminar and conference facilities, a library, computing facilities and common areas.
  • The expansion includes new underground classroom space, a sub-courtyard mechanical room, and a heating/cooling system. Each underground system is supported on a mat foundation enclosed by concrete construction. Adjacent existing footings were underpinned with jack piles to prohibit settlement and alleviate surcharge loading.
  • The east underground classroom roof is crisscrossed by an access ramp and clerestory windows to incorporate natural light. A new steel-framed bypass corridor on the north side facilitates movement through the building. A new monumental stair and a large glass entryway were constructed within the existing alley. Lightweight composite steel construction comprises the floor infill. Steel lintels and posts provide new openings in the existing bearing walls.
  • Thornton Tomasetti used Revit to coordinate with the design team. A 3D laser scan point cloud survey of the existing buildings was used to model the existing and new structures. The use of iPads and BIM 360 in the field allowed Thornton Tomasetti to review RFIs, create sketches and produce field reports on demand.

Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Protein Characterization Facility (APCF):

  • Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design for the one-story, 55,000-square-foot facility. Its client, SmithGroupJJR, served as the architect on the project, which was completed in 2015.
  • The APCF is a highly automated laboratory and scientific-collaboration facility that produces proteins and protein crystals needed to determine the 3D structures of proteins. The facility provides the necessary temperature, humidity, and vibration controls to produce high-throughput protein crystallization.
  • APCF houses Biosafety Level 2 labs, 10,700 square feet of office space, computer support space, a 2,950-square-foot conference room, and an enclosed partial mechanical penthouse. It links to an existing advanced photon source synchrotron facility via a 93-foot-long, above-ground corridor.
  • The APCF includes a tornado safe room, designed to FEMA 361 code. The safe room is in the middle of the building and can withstand up to 250 mile per hour winds.