Whiting Turner held a Topping Out Celebration on October 6 to mark the end of major steel operations for West 2, Penn State College of Engineering’s newest facility for the Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering departments, located on Penn State’s West Campus. The celebration was a “thank you” to the laborers, the University, Subcontractors and the Design Team for a job well done getting to this major milestone on time and during a pandemic.
Almost two weeks later, on October 19th, formwork was removed from the strong wall, debuting the result of combining over 250 tons of rebar, 450 post tensioned cables, 14,000 cubic feet of concrete, requirements for both precise tolerances and an aesthetically pleasing concrete finish, all with countless hours of coordination between the designers, contractors and fabricators. Finishing the construction of the strong wall and strong floor was another major milestone.
West 2, once completed, will house maker spaces, group study areas, conference rooms, faculty offices, and a high bay materials testing laboratory, housing the strong wall, strong floor, and (2) 20 ton cranes. The majority of the structure is exposed to promote student learning of the building systems. The entire east side of the building has a glazed timber curtain wall for the same reason, to showcase the active learning inside the building to the campus. Reducing the carbon footprint and sustainability were part of the design intent – which we accomplished by using a CLT with steel frame system and specifying low carbon concrete mixes.
West 2, designed by Payette in collaboration with LJC, is scheduled for completion in late fall of 2022.