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Gruskin Group - News - Integrated Design, Architecture + Design, Creative Services

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Excellence in Safety

There were many daunting safety challenges in building this irregularly shaped, 102,000-sq-ft, glass, stone, concrete and brick signature building. The team, however, overcame them during its nearly 180,000 hours of labor with zero OSHA recordable incidents and no lost-time accidents.

The six-story structure, which stands on the west side of the Kean campus, was completed on time and within budget. It is largely an academic building with retail space on the first floor.

The general contractor describes the building as mostly a cast-in-place concrete structure with some structural steel framing. It is clad in a glass curtain wall, natural stone veneer panels and brick. It features a six-story sloping glass radius wall on the northeast elevation and a five story radius glass wall on the south side.

Other features include a cafe and retail space on the first floor, classroom and administration space on floors two through five, and a conference center on the sixth floor.

The building also includes horizontal sunshades to reduce solar gain.

The modern, irregular glass curtain walls are eyecatching. They stand in contrast to the three stone towers that include bathrooms and elevators. The designer says the undulating glass facade is made possible by exposed concrete slabs with 10-in.-thick edges.

The objective of the $39-million project "was to provide a bold architectural statement and visually communicate the promise of Kean's world-class education," the designer says.

Beginning with a compressed 15-month schedule, the project posed numerous hurdles involving design and constructibility, logistics, scheduling and safety.

Safety challenges included working with more than 8,000 cu yd of cast-in-place concrete poured to elevations of more than 110 ft and located only 15 ft from high voltage power lines and a state highway. Also, three cranes were running nonstop during construction. The team also had to deal with Superstorm Sandy and harsh winter weather conditions.


294 Morris Avenue     Springfield, NJ 07081     973.376.4411
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