Brauer Hall receives six construction awards

Pratim Biswas (center), PhD, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE), and Patty Wurm, EECE lab technician, show Stephen F. Brauer, WUSTL benefactor and chair of Washington University’s Board of Trustees, the Jens Molecular and Nanoscale Instrumentation Laboratory in Brauer Hall. Brauer Hall has received many awards in part because of the complexity of the laboratory spaces it houses.

Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, a new LEED Gold-certified engineering building near the northeast corner of the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis, was honored last month with a Project Achievement Award by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

The CMAA award, which only is given to 11 projects yearly, is one of six construction awards recently garnered by Brauer Hall, home to the School of Engineering & Applied Science’s Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE) and an incubator for tomorrow’s technologies that embodies the engineering school’s bold vision for the future.

The construction awards recognized Clayco, the project’s general contractor, and mechanical contractor Murphy Co. for following best practices throughout the Brauer Hall’s planning and construction.

The presentation of the CMAA award took place during CMAA’s national conference held in early November in Washington, D.C. Arthur J. Ackermann, associate vice chancellor of Facilities Planning & Management, accepted the award on behalf of the WUSTL team and Clayco.

“As the home of the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, and with additional space for the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Brauer Hall is a hub for innovative research and education that is already leading to a healthier, more sustainable and cleaner planet,” says Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the Spencer T. Olin Professor.

“With its central location within the new engineering complex and its state-of-the-art distance-learning room, Brauer Hall provides endless opportunities for engineering faculty and students to collaborate across disciplines and around the world,” Quatrano says.

The 150,875-square-foot, four-level building includes 32 labs; a data center; a chiller plant; conference rooms; 60 offices; and two classrooms, including the 90-seat distance-learning classroom.

“I am proud of the many awards that Brauer Hall has received,” Quatrano says, “and I am grateful to the outstanding design and construction team that made these awards and this building a reality.

“I am also grateful to all of the donors, especially Steve and Kimmy Brauer, for their support and commitment for this exceptional facility that will serve Washington University, the region and the world for decades to come.”

Formed in 1982, CMAA promotes construction management, an array of techniques for defining the responsibilities and management structure of the project management team, organizing project controls and communication protocols, and identifying elements of project design and construction likely to give rise to disputes and claims.

“Brauer Hall has been a special project because we used a Building Information Model — a digital computer model of the building linked to a database of project information — to reduce changes, improve schedule and coordinate the design,” says Neal T. Schaeffer, project manager in Facilities Planning & Management.

Below are the other five awards recognizing excellence in the construction of Brauer Hall.

  • 2010 Design-Build Award from Contracting Business

Design-build is a method of project delivery in which one entity, the design-build team, works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. Design-build is an alternative to design-bid-build. Under the latter approach, design and construction are split between entities and contracts.

Contracting Business is a business-to-business magazine for commercial, residential and industrial contractors in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industries.

  • Best Project Award by the Design-Build Institute of America’s Mid-American Region

The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) promotes best practices in design-build, an approach that integrates design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. DBIA has 16 regional chapters. The Mid-American Region consists of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

  • 2011 Keystone Award from Associated General Contractors

The Keystone Awards were created to recognize the best projects built by St. Louis area construction firms. The Associated General Contractors (AGC) is an organization that provides networking opportunities, educational opportunities and labor relations representation both in St. Louis and nationally, through AGC of America.

  • St. Louis Construction News & Review Regional Excellence Award

The Regional Excellence Awards recognize projects completed in the previous year that demonstrate excellence in design and construction and a positive contribution to the St. Louis community.

St. Louis Construction News & Review, now St. Louis Construction News & Real Estate, is a magazine that provides in-depth news and analysis of the St. Louis construction industry.

  • Best Practices Award from the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers.

The St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers is an owner organization that seeks to foster the efficient delivery of capital facilities and maintenance by the St. Louis design and construction industry.

The Brauer Hall submission featured planning for startup of this multipurpose building. Because Brauer Hall includes laboratories, classrooms and administrative offices, startup required careful sequencing and scheduling of systems for the heating plant, chilled water, both high- and low-pressure steam systems, backup chillers and a server room.

Brauer Hall also received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the USGBC in March 2000.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building achieves high performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Four different levels of certification are available, based on the number of LEED credits a building earns. Gold is the second-highest of four LEED levels.