Biomedical Science Tower III

Builders of the Biomedical Sciences Tower III at the University of Pittsburgh were faced with a difficult challenge: building a 344,000-square-foot structure in a cramped urban footprint with a tight construction deadline.

To avoid on-site congestion issues during glass installation, glaziers from D-M Products Inc. of Bethel Park, Pa., used a pre-assembled and pre-glazed unitized curtain wall system supplied by Wausau Window and Wall Systems of Wausau, Wis.

“The pre-assembly allows for a very rapid close-up of the building,” says Dick Macurak, president of D-M Products. “We can get them water tight quickly … glazing many square feet a day. Wausau glazed the systems. We unloaded it, and put it into place. It was very effective in this space, because of the congestion and heavy traffic.”

The 10-story BST3 completes a trio of laboratories at the university. The same unitized system used for much of the structure also was used for two glass skyway bridges that connect the laboratory building to its sister buildings, Macurak says.

BST3 features 60,000 square feet of glazing, with 1-inch clear insulating units from Viracon of Owatonna, Minn. The glass features a low-emissivity coating on the No. 2 surface.

Wausau supplied two other systems for the project in addition to its 7250 Series U-Wall unitized system. The building includes its RX 4750 Series for areas with continuous ribbon windows and small portions of its HP Wall and slope wall system to provide sound and thermal performance in the lobby area. Linetec, also of Wausau, was the frame finisher.

Architect Payette Associates Inc. of Boston received several awards for the project. JSA Architecture Planning Engineering Interior Design of Pittsburgh served as the architect of record.

The general contractor was a joint venture between Hunt Construction Group of Princeton, N.J., and Mascaro Construction Co. LP of Pittsburgh.