The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford recently opened a new engineering and information technology building that adds urgently needed lab and instructional space to the campus.
The 38,880 sf structure is the new home for the study of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Energy Engineering Technology, and Computer Information Systems & Technology, the latter of which had previously been spread out among multiple buildings.
The $17.69 million facility includes engineering labs, engineering shops, computer labs, the campus data center, active large group classrooms, and faculty and staff offices. The design strategy aligned all functions to open to a two-story collaborative center to enhance visibility, accessibility, interactions, and team building. Additional design features include:
- A centralized commons provides a more social, collaborative, team-based learning model for the campus.
- A cantilevered metal clad faculty office “bar” floats above a mostly glass enclosed collaborative first floor providing a dynamic north edge for the newly formed quad.
- The same module footprint for labs and classrooms enhances flexibility.
- A thick building footprint and strategic integration of glass reduces energy usage while preserving access to daylight and views.
- Exposed ceilings in the shared, centralized maker hub puts building systems on display.
Engineering technology students have access to hands-on labs. A maker space contains milling machines, lathes, welding equipment, metal cutting technology, and 3-D printers and scanners.
Mechanical engineering technology students can design and build a prototype for an industrial process, then test them in labs for fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, strength of materials, and electrical circuit operation. Energy engineering technology students learn about geology, combustion, automation and sensors, biofuels, wood chemistry, wind and solar power, and the chemistry of petroleum and natural gas.
Faculty from the engineering and information technology programs look forward to collaborations, such as competitive team activities, that will benefit both programs. The maker space is an attraction for prospective students in both areas.
“The energy between computer information systems and engineering is important for students,” said Dr. Ken Wang, associate professor and director of the computer information systems and technology program. “They are complementary programs.”
On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Design architect: HED
Architect of record: LGA Partners
MEP engineer: HED
Structural engineer: HED
Lab Planner: HED
Information and Communications Technology design: HED
Civil Engineer & Landscape: PVE, LLC
General contractor/construction manager: Rycon Construction Inc.