University of Massachusetts Physical Sciences Building by Joshua Holladay

This project is located on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.This is the digital 3D rendering also an aerial site plan of the Physical Sciences Building at umass Amherst. The new building is one of the many ongoing construction projects. This building is part of the current expansion of umass Amherst. It is going to be on par with the new initiative to be have all new buildings certified with LEED silver. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design this program offers a point based scoring system in which the design and operations of the building are tested. The result is a rating of the green ness or efficiency of the building also its environments impact. The building will be an extension of the physics and sciences of the LGRC and Goessman. The entire building will span 82,500 sf of new laboratories, classrooms, and offices.

Digital Rendering of Complete Project


The construction will be accomplished in phases. The first two phases, running from March 9 to June 30, 2015 and June 1 to October 31, respectively, will cover preliminary utility construction and upgrades in the area; a third phase, from July 1 to October 31, will involve abatement, selective demolition and dismantling to allow for the relocation and reconstruction of West Experiment Station; and the final fourth phase, beginning in November, 2015 and ending in January, 2018, will be for the reconstruction of WES and the construction of the PSB itself.


The building was designed by Wilson Architects with a LEED rating of silver in mind. Wilson Architects is a design firm out of Boston Massachusetts. Wilson Architects is a collaborative planning and design studio, averaging 50 -200 employees, working primarily with academic and corporate clients. It is a privately held company founded in 1995. Here is a list of specialties the company offers Architectural Design, Planning & Programming, Sustainable Design, Campus Planning, Laboratory Design, Specialty Laboratory Design (Nanotechnology, Cleanroom), General Academic Facilities

They are currently designing the new Cambridge College relocation to hood park in Charlestown. The project is a 100,000 SF upgrade. They also designed the Life Sciences Building here on campus and the University Hall on the Boston campus.


The project Manager for this site is Joe Balzano. Joe Balzano is part of the University of Massachusetts Design and Construction Management Division of the Facilities and Campus Services. The D&CM part of Amherst runs all the construction on campus. Mr. Balzano previously worked at the city of Worcester as an Architect.


The contractor in charge of actual completion of the work is the company Whiting and Turner. The company was founded in 1909 by G.W.C Whiting and LeBaron Turner. They have offices across the nation and are one of the biggest construction contractors in the U.S. with over 2000 employees. The company did over 5.7 Billion in sales in 2015. The President and CEO is Timothy Regan. Current and recent projects include Yale’s Malone Center which received LEED gold, Pfizer Clinical Research Center which received LEED silver and the Jackson Lab for Genomic Medicine received LEED gold. As with the plan for umass this company has constructed many LEED certified buildings.

Pic – 1 Here is a great picture of your typical foundation wall. You can see the marks from the forms they used to shape the wall. Also you will see the black vapor barrier. On almost every single new foundation project you should see something like this sealing the wall from moisture from the earth touching it. In the back ground you can see the rough structure of a building they are just starting framing here and putting up national gypsum board insulation on the exterior of the structure. The tall metal towers extruding from the roof I believe are for chimneys. These chimneys will most likely be for looks only and not really functional from what I can tell from looking at the design. I can tell they are structural due to sitting directly above the beams of the internal structure.

Pic 3 – this is photo the lowest area where it looks like will be under the walkway that is supposed to span over the top of this entire area. As you can see this is a poured in place concrete foundation. Concrete forms where used to place the foundation as is. All along the base nearest the earth you can see waterproofing of the foundation. This helps to prevent moisture getting into the concrete which can freeze and crack the foundation. This precaution is common practice among all areas of the construction industry. On top you can orange staging all staging is inspected before any work is started. Also behind the staging you can barley see more the Gracie perm a barrier. This is going to air seal the building very well. As long as the doors and window areas get the same treatment.

Created By
Josh Holladay


umass amherst and joshua holladay

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