Physical Science Building By: Joshua Rebello & josian baerga


For our term project, we concentrated on the new Physical Science Building being constructed on North Pleasant Drive. It’s located directly across the street from the East Experiment Station and beside Goessmann. This building wasn’t designed for a single major, but as a common space for a plethora of fields. It will be the newest science building on campus and will house physics, computational and synthetic chemistry research laboratories. Additionally, there will be offices for 20 faculty members and 130 bench positions. We both lived in the area over the summer and were able to witness the construction of the basic frame of the building. Once the semester started the construction began to pick up with features such as the wall construction and roofing on the attached building. The building is 95,000 gross square feet educational complex and the estimated construction timeline is Spring, 2015 to early 2018 with over a year of construction left for the project. It is a focal point for the various disciplines of science offered at the campus, with this in mind the cost for the building 101.8 million. With these efforts of maintaining a prestigious caliber, the completion of the Physical Science Building will be awe inspiring.

Week 1 (October 11, 2016)

For week one we focused on the studs for the walls. Studs are a vital piece to wall construction because they are the structural members that absorb the loads from the above structural members. The first studs to be erected are for the first floor, but this doesn’t occur until the foundation has been laid. Once the foundation has been poured then the sill plate, header and bottom plate are installed. The first floor studs are installed on the bottom plate. The studs are placed every 12” to 16” if it’s a load bearing wall and 24” for a non-load bearing wall (for traditional framing). If it’s an advanced framing building, then the load bearing studs can be placed 24” apart. If the wall studs are wooden (for example for a house) then blocks are installed between the studs to prevent bending. Each stud is topped with a double top plate for traditional framing, a single top plate could be used replacing the second top plate with steel connections in advanced framing. Then the above floor is installed to better absorb the weight. The studs are placed every 12” to 16” if it is a load bearing wall. For non-load bearing interior walls the studs can be placed 24” apart. Studs can be 2 x 3, 2 x 4 or 2 x 6’s or light gauge steel depending on the structure being built.


Week One Observations

In this picture the focus was the internal columns that are helping to spread the load of the building. These are load bearing columns installed on the interior of the building. The columns will help to absorb the weights from the roof on crucial set points along the span. The column’s size, weight, thickness and placement are completely determined on a plan to satisfy a smooth transfer load for the weight above. This grid pattern is often used to effectively avoid any unwanted point loads.
This is a picture of the studs for a load bearing wall. Each of these studs are placed 12” to 16” apart and will absorb the loads of the building. They will absorb the dead loads from environmental factors and the live loads from the occupants of the building. The sheathing for the building will be attached to the studs since the studs are placed the normal distance apart it will be an average load bearing wall. The studs are steel studs so there is no need for blocking since steel studs are stronger than wooden studs.
In this third image the wall studs are placed much closer together than in the second image. The studs appeared to be 6” apart, which could be for a few different reasons. This is still the construction for a load bearing wall meaning the studs will be absorbing the dead and live loads from above and on this floor. Since they’re so close together this could mean that a laboratory will be built on this floor or that a brick veneer wall will be erected on the exterior. The closer together the wall studs are the more likely it is that there is going to be some sort of extra load on this floor or wall.
This picture depicts the top left corner of the building where both types of wall members are shown. You can clearly see the internal load bearing studs and the 12-16” spaced exterior load bearing studs. There are so many internal studs because there are more heavy horizontal members that need to be supported (than seen in the other picture).

Week One Research

Studs can be 2 x 3, 2 x 4 or 2 x 6’s or light gauge steel depending on the structure being built. Depending on the design and prospects of the building, these studs will be placed at certain intervals O.C. They are generally 12” to 16” but can have even longer spans when using different techniques of framing design such as advanced framing. Advanced framing allows for the use of fewer materials while still effectively satisfying the load and the larger span between studs when using this technique allows for more insulation within the cavity. Leading to a higher R-value wall, which correlates to lower heating and cooling loads on the building. This particular building though, since it is to be an educational laboratory, will be an internal-load dominated building. As opposed to an envelope dominated building, internal- dominated buildings focus more on counteracting the excess heat generated within the structure by plug loads, fixtures, occupants and other internal sources.

There are two types of framing heavy and light frame construction. For light frame construction balloon and platform framing fall under this category. Balloon framing installed a single stud from the sill of the foundation up to the roof. This method was mainly used for home construction and had a lot of problems with fire safety. Since the studs were installed from the foundation up this meant that the wall cavities were also from the foundation up. If a fire began on the first floor of a home, then it could easily spread to the above floors with such a large cavity to travel within. The type of framing that took the place of balloon framing is platform framing. Platform framing is used in residential and commercial applications and can utilize wood, steel or aluminum studs. In platform framing the studs span only a single floor, which means there isn’t one continuous hollow cavity from the basement to the top of the structure. Instead there are cavities for each floor and they’re blocked by the flooring of the floor above. These types can be constructed using nails and screws.

The physical science building is heavy frame construction (depicted above)
Typical residential construction is light frame
Here is an up close image of what metal wall studs look like. They have the holes in the webbing in order to slip lateral bracing members into them. The studs could begin to buckle in the middle from exterior forces, (wind and rain) that are constantly attacking the wall and also compressive dead loads from above that surpass the strength of the building material. This is the bending strength of a material and each material has a composite strength evaluated by a certain amount of psi capabilities. Steel has a high strength in both compression and tension, which makes it a very useful and frequently used material. Even though the maximum strength of steel is very high, heat poses a significant threat to the integrity of the material. It loses maximum strength and begins to bend more easily, resulting in failure.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.