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Virginia Commonwealth University Snead Hall, School of Business and East Hall, School of Engineering

Gilbane’s team rises above unforeseen challenges to deliver a premier facility for VCU.

New Facility Covers a City Block on Challenging Site

The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Business and Engineering facility covers nearly a city block in downtown Richmond Virginia and serves as the premier facility for VCU’s Business and Engineering schools. The crowded project site presented many challenges for the project team. Several large, existing structures, including a service station, had to be demolished prior to excavations; nearly all of the buildings contained significant amounts of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, that required professional treatment prior to demolition. The preliminary subsurface investigation detected large amounts of containments present in the soils; coupled with a high water table, large site dewatering system and water treatment facility were required to purge as much contamination from the soil as possible prior to construction. Due to the overall poor quality of the soils, massive undercuts, some over 14’ deep, were required to obtain the necessary bearing capacities.

The School of Business consists of an atrium surrounded by classrooms and faculty offices. The atrium’s primary feature is the ornamental stair case leading to the stock trading room on the second floor. The atrium features terrazzo floors, maple panels highlighted with mahogany, and bronze metal finishes. The first floor also includes the café area.

The Crescent area contains primarily administrative and faculty offices, conference rooms, and student lounges on all four floors, with a few classrooms on the second and third floors.

The School of Engineering contains the laboratory space, as well as the octagon tower which serves as the integrated classrooms for both the engineering and business schools.

Value Statement

In the last 8 months of the project $800,000 in unused contingency was returned to the owner to fund additional design enhancements and building start-up operations.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and the entire Gilbane team for your superior performance.”

-Brian J. Ohlinger, P.E.
Former Associate Vice President of Facilities Management