Penn State University Chemical & Biomedical Engineering Building

Overview 

As one of the nation’s leading academies for engineering education, research, and service to the technical community and civil society, the College of Engineering at Penn State constructed a new, first-rate facility to home the Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments. 

The new, six-story, 195,000 square foot building includes state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, office spaces, lecture halls, common areas, a basement, and a penthouse. 

Southland performed 3D modeling for the engineering lead to coordinate building systems and resolve constructability concerns early. These efforts included using fabrication parts to increase the design model and eliminate the wasteful hand-off and remodeling efforts for the detailed coordination and fabrication phase. 

Approach

As part of the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) team, Southland introduced and led the use of Lean tools such as pull planning, Choosing by Advantage (CBA), and Target Value Design. As the design-assist partner, Southland also worked with the design team to ensure continuous value was added and waste was eliminated through design and constructability solutions. 

Southland pushed design and coordination towards prefabrication, taking advantage of off-site construction opportunities such as multi-trade HVAC/laboratory piping racks, risers, equipment connections, and restroom carriers. 

Southland also led in safety performance with a full-time safety specialist and use of Safesite to record and track the project’s safety trends. 

Envise, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southland Industries, was also awarded a building automation system installation for the Penn State Chemical and Biomedical Engineering building. 

Results 

During the detailed coordination and fabrication phase, Southland identified over 40 constructability issues, saving time and money. Southland’s design team also identified and resolved over 280 design and scope concerns during the preconstruction phase, significantly reducing costly RFIs and change orders during the construction phase. 

Overall, Southland successfully performed services to help provide Penn State’s Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments with a new state-of-the-art facility.