Photo by Warren Jagger

Brandeis University, Carl J. Shapiro Science Center

Waltham, MA




2011 Honor Award, Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component, Society for College and University Planning
2011 Higher Education: Citation for Design, Boston Society of Architects
2009 Merit Awards for Design Excellence, AIA New England
2009 Honor Award for Design Excellence, Boston Society of Architects
Brandeis University, Carl J. Shapiro Science Center
Brandeis University, Carl J. Shapiro Science Center
Brandeis University, Carl J. Shapiro Science Center

The Carl J. Shapiro Science Center project consisted of 155,000 sq ft of new construction, 40,000 sq ft of renovated space, and infrastructure upgrades.  The existing science complex comprises eight main buildings and several secondary structures built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  The project included a new, six-level research and teaching facility for biology, biochemistry, and physical chemistry; a connector building; a new central utility plant; and a new utility tunnel beneath the building.  SGH provided structural design and building enclosure design consulting for the new construction and renovation project. 

Scope | Solutions

SGH designed a superstructure that is primarily cast-in-place, reinforced concrete with flat-plate floor slabs and reinforced concrete shear walls as the lateral-load-resisting system.  By choosing reinforced concrete in lieu of a structural steel system, we were able to match floor elevations with the adjoining concrete-framed buildings.  As part of our analysis, we evaluated issues related to adjacent structures, such as seismic racking and foundation undermining.

We assisted with the design of the building enclosure that consists of a new composite panel system, which at the time was used in few applications  throughout the United States.  We consulted on the panel system, which behaves as a rainscreen with a fully-waterproofed backup wall integrated with the building’s curtain wall, and also consulted on the metal and glass curtain walls, roofing, and waterproofing systems. 

SGH provided construction administration services that included review of contractor submittals and shop drawings and observations of as-built enclosure and structural systems for comparison with design intent. 

Project Contact(s)