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April 19, 2013

Renovation/Restoration (Washington) -- Husky Union Building

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider [enlarge]
One of the construction challenges of the HUB project was integrating current framing techniques with previous remodels.

Renovation/Restoration (Washington)

Husky Union Building

Location: University of Washington, Seattle

Contractor: Northwest Partitions

Architect: Perkins + Will

Team: D.L. Henricksen, GTS Interior Supply, CertainTeed Corp., ClarkDietrich Building Systems, Hilti International, USG

Since 1949, the Husky Union Building has been the center of student life at the University of Washington. It has expanded over the years from 71,000 square feet to 262,000 square feet.

This two-year project reinvented the building to connect the student body, campus and natural environment. It rebuilt meeting rooms, lecture halls, ballrooms, a bowling alley and restaurants. A performance hall anchors the building’s south end, where elliptical sails direct sunlight into the space. Glass roof monitors channel light into other parts of the building.

Since the students voted to pay for most of the renovation themselves through tuition fees, student representatives participated in the design process and development.

One of the major construction challenges was integrating current framing techniques with previous remodels. Northwest Partitions’ team worked with the design team to address connection details, member selection, deflection verification and imposed loads on many different assemblies.

Another challenge was adapting to the high volume and speed of necessary changes. Demolition exposed unforeseen mechanical, electrical and plumbing conditions. In all, there were 1,868 requests for information on the project and another 243 additional skill identifiers. Some of these changes had multiple reiterations.

Maintaining the schedule under these conditions took an extraordinary amount of management time and dedication.

Judge’s comment: “The HUB, a ‘home away from home’ for UW students, has been transformed into a wonderful facility that embraces the concepts of new architecture and construction with an existing historic structure. The countless unforeseen conditions were overcome, creating a beautiful finished product.”

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