Located at the northern part of the University of Massachusetts Amherst's campus, the Physical Sciences Building (PSB) is currently being constructed. This structure will create a whole new atmosphere for physical sciences at the university. This project will include two new bridges along with a tunnel to connect the Physical Sciences Building to the existing West Experiment Station (WES), Goessmann Chemistry Laboratory, and Lederle Graduate Research Center (LGRC). The construction of the tunnel and bridges enables easier access to other campus buildings, but more importantly will promote collaboration amongst the resources those building have to offer. The Physical Sciences building also has an unique set of site upgrades that make this building improve the campus significantly. These perks to the PSB include an accessible parking area, a loading dock, bus stop in front, and a variety of walkways for the high flow of foot traffic on campus. To follow the newer building strategies of the University, this project too will include a "green roof plaza" which will be located between the new building and the LGRC through the 1,000,000 + Gross Square Foot Science district of campus to benefit the UMass family.
Throughout the grand scheme of construction, this project will also include the renewal of the West Experiment Station (WES). The WES is a 19th Century research laboratory as well as one of the University’s oldest and original buildings. Due to old age, wear and tear, the West Experiment Station is structurally unfit to be in use. The current materials in the building’s structure are not safe for the building to be a part of the day to day work environment. To protect the building, the project includes the deconstruction and rescuing of the WES. The well known exterior red brick will be once again used to re-create the historical late 1800 appearance of the building. This new West Experiment Station will be able to again be an active part of the University along with being a part of the new Physical Science district on campus.
Photo shows an aerial view of the proposed building. As you can see, the connections to the existing buildings are a crucial aspect of the Physical Sciences Building.
Week 5 observations & Research
On November 10, 2016 which was our 5th week of tracking the construction of the Physical Sciences Building, we were given the opportunity to tour the job-site as part of one of our BCT courses. Through the tour we were allowed to walk in and around the building and take photos of what was currently being done on site. From this tour we were able to see a lot of what goes on in a building before the walls and the finishes begin to be installed. During this tour we went through and were briefly able to see and discuss:
- Gypsum Board
- Window Cut Outs in Concrete
- Excavation & Trench Boxes
- Temporary Lighting and Fixtures
- Above Ceiling MEP's (Mechanical - Electrical - Plumbing - Fire Protection)
- Electrical Boxes
- Plumbing Valves and Shutoffs
- Fireproofing vs. Firestopping
- Insulation in between framing
- Stairs before they are finalized
- How important it is to keep the job site clean