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Steel Shots: Chemistry Experiment
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM.


A firm’s first endeavor with electronic data interchange (EDI) facilitated the efficient replacement of Virginia Tech’s chemistry building, Davidson Hall. The split image above shows the west elevation of the building in Revit, Tekla and structural steel. Model image: Autodesk  & Tekla Structures. Steel erection photo: Joe Hoeflein, Virginia Tech


Davidson Hall did a lot of growing early in its life.


The building, home to the chemistry department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg - better known as Virginia Tech - began with a three-story front section and a rear two-story portion, both constructed in 1928. The front section received a fourth story and the two-story section was expanded in 1933; a subsequent project in 1938 added a three-story section north of the 1933 two-story expansion.


More than seven decades later, in 2008, Virginia Tech was ready to upgrade the facility and retained EYP Architecture and Engineering for the project, which encompassed demolishing the building except for the four-story front section. The replacement building was constructed on the footprint of the demolished portion and joins the remaining front section at its north wall. The new 51,000-sq.-ft addition houses state-of-the-art flexible laboratories, classrooms, faculty offices and a lecture hall.


Building design team members EYP (architectural and MEP) and Pinnacle Engineering (structural) typically employ BIM in the preparation of construction documents and regularly shared and coordinated Autodesk Revit models throughout the design process for Davidson Hall. During the construction documents phase - and thinking ahead to the traditionally time-consuming process of structural steel shop drawing preparation and review and its effect on the early construction schedule - Pinnacle developed an idea to improve that process. If they could somehow move their Revit Structure model through the traditional interface associated with the transfer of two-dimensional construction documents from the A/E to the construction manager, then provide it directly to the structural steel fabricator for shop drawing preparation, they might achieve measurable benefits for the university and every member of the project team.


The learn more about the benefits of EDI and how the project team accomplished them, read the article from the September issue of MSC.

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