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Florida Polytechnic University unveils its Applied Research Center, furthering its mission to provide STEM education

University Buildings

Florida Polytechnic University unveils its Applied Research Center, furthering its mission to provide STEM education

Designed by HOK and built by Skanska, the 90,000-sf academic building houses research and teaching laboratories and student design spaces.


By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | December 5, 2022
Florida Polytechnic University unveils its Applied Research Center, furthering its mission to provide STEM education
Florida Polytechnic University’s new Applied Research Center (pictured above, at right) sits adjacent to the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building, which was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, built by Skanska, and completed in 2014 (above, at left). Photo courtesy Skanska USA

In Lakeland, Fla., located between Orlando and Tampa, Florida Polytechnic University unveiled its new Applied Research Center (ARC). Designed by HOK and built by Skanska, the 90,000-sf academic building houses research and teaching laboratories, student design spaces, conference rooms, and faculty offices—furthering the school’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) mission.

The university’s second academic building in Lakeland, the two-story ARC building sits adjacent to the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Building, which was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, built by Skanska, and completed in 2014.

For its foundation, the project site features ground improvement rock columns with vibro compaction. The structure features mostly 5x5-foot spread footings, except beneath a large 42-foot cantilever, where 15x15-foot footings were required. 

The structure also employs steel brace frames. Skanska, which received a $45 million construction contract, found that brace-framing the building, rather than form-pouring multiple stories of shear walls, helped the company deliver the project on budget and on schedule. To build the steel structure, Skanska used a 200-ton crawler crane and two assist cranes. 

Florida Polytechnic ARC photo courtesy Skanska USA
Photo: Skanska USA

Throughout the building, chilled beams help reduce the need for large ductwork. With power and water supplied by the campus central utility plant, ARC’s roof is free of mechanical equipment.

The ARC project has attained LEED Silver certification. Its sustainable features include a highly reflective curtain wall and an insulated glazing system. The building’s central atrium connects to each bar of the building and serves as a meeting and collaboration space for students.

On the Building Team:
Owner: Florida Polytechnic University
Design architect: HOK
MEP engineer: AEI (Affiliated Engineers, Inc.)
Structural engineer: Walter P Moore 
General contractor/construction manager: Skanska USA

Florida Polytechnic ARC (c) Florida Polytechnic University.jpg
Photo courtesy Florida Polytechnic University
Florida Polytechnic ARC 3 (c) Florida Polytechnic University
Photo courtesy Florida Polytechnic University
Florida Polytechnic ARC 4 (c) Florida Polytechnic University
Photo courtesy Florida Polytechnic University

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