Case Studies: PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY
The Agriculture and Business Multipurpose Classroom Building is designed to be the new home of two of Prairie View A&M’s flagship departments. The state-of-the-art facility features a 102’ clock tower, two-level 400 seat auditorium, classrooms, meeting spaces, and faculty offices built around a group of mature oak trees in the center of campus. The design promotes Prairie View’s history and commitment to the institution of learning, while maintaining a vision for long-term growth and creating opportunity for social gathering.
In order to achieve the visible expression of activity with the building to the “larger university family,” a number of design challenges were created, allowing the creative and attentive minds at IES to shine. Cantilevered, slender, open, and complex describe many of the building elements. The concrete-framed main building had post-tensioned girders up to 42’ long with 12’ to 15’ cantilevers, while maintaining the overall standard pan-formed joist depth of 25”. A cantilevered concrete second floor student lounge creates a jewel-box with no columns, braces or visible structure obstructing the panoramic view of “the Hill.” The concrete two-way slab over the space is supported by tapered post-tensioned girders cantilevered 19’ off the clock tower podium. The undulating curtain wall facades, hanging low roofs, multi-sloping auditorium roof, complex mechanical penthouses, cantilevered architectural stairs, and clock tower were framed in structural steel.
The elegant and exacting nature of the project required comprehensive consideration and close coordination with multiple disciplines to accomplish the design work from Schematic Design to Construction Documents with multiple alternates in nine months. Initial budget estimates led IES engineers to recommend a post-grouted pier foundation system that eliminated the need for multiple piers and pier caps at several heavily loaded columns saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and ensuring the 400 seat auditorium alternate was accepted. The building construction is scheduled for substantial completion in the fall of 2015.