UNO College of Public Affairs & Community Service Building
The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) project involved the renovation of the existing 110,000 SF building; including hazardous material abatement (lead, asbestos), all new architectural finishes, as well as mechanical and electrical services. New additions totaling 20,000 SF to the north and south of the building provide additional academic space and serve as the new “front doors” to the building. All demolition and new work was constructed while the highly sensitive spaces of TV, Radio, and Aviation continued operations within the building.
Working in occupied spaces and ensuring that the departments had everything necessary from a facilities standpoint was a critical issue. We developed safe barrier solutions to separate the public from construction activities and worked around programs and schedules to minimize noise disruption. We had to be especially mindful of maintaining life safety requirements including fire alarms and sprinklers as well as access to stairwells and emergency exits. We established plans and were flexible as they were adjusted and work progressed.
In order to increase efficiency, we requested an early walkthrough by the Nebraska State Fire Marshal to help establish his expectations for this project. We maintain good working relationships with state and local code officials and strive to understand their perspective so that we can address their concerns and expedite approval processes. After an initial walkthrough, the Fire Marshal requested that we enhance fire protection in spaces that were difficult to access. We developed creative pathway and conduit solutions in order to satisfy his requirements. This thorough and forward thinking strategy reduced the potential for schedule delays and costs associated with late stage modifications.
During the excavation of the foundation on the north side of UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service building, utilities for the main chilled and domestic water lines for the entire University were discovered that were not on the original plans. This differing site condition could have become a significant issue that resulted in a delay to the project. Instead of allowing this to become a divisive issue, we developed a plan to keep the utility lines from becoming damaged during the construction of the new foundation. Working in partnership with UNO Facilities Management and Planning, we developed a two-step process that involved encasing the existing water line system in concrete and connecting additional pipe work to the original piping system, extending it beyond the foundation site. To ensure this process was completed smoothly, specialty pipe fitters and equipment were called on standby to handle any problems if they occurred. The process was executed perfectly, and the project was completed as scheduled.