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National Steel Day Tour: Scott Hall Construction Site, CMU

30 Sep 2014 5:01 PM | Djuna Gulliver

To celebrate AISC’s National Steel Day the Pittsburgh SEI Chapter hosted a construction site tour of the Scott Hall project on Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) campus.

When finished, this 100K SF building will house wet and dry laboratories, collaborative and office spaces, a cafe, and a 10K SF cleanroom facility.  This impacted the design of the building significantly as vibration requirements for the cleanroom and laboratory spaces were very strict. 

Preceding the tour, a brief overview of the project was presented as well as a look at some of the more unique structural design challenges.  The project site sits in the back of CMU’s campus on a steep hillside leading down to active railroad tracks.  The building is cantilevered out over the hillside and supported on diagonally splayed steel columns.  Each column is outfitted with multiple strain gages to allow for continual monitoring of the building.  Building floor plans had to be designed as trusses in order to resolve all forces from the columns, resulting in unusual framing and connection designs.

The structure is designed to tie into four other campus buildings, creating a connecting hub for many of CMU’s engineering departments.  To accomplish this, a portion of the building is being constructed under the main campus level in a previous service entrance area.  Main campus walkways will then extend over this portion of the structure creating new green roof space.  The cleanrooms will be housed in the area under the green roof. Construction is expected to be completed Winter 2015.

Project manager Max Dorosa led the tour with the assistance of project structural engineers Matt Larson and Daniel Brodkin from Arup USA.  For more information on the project, final design renderings, and up-to-date progress photos check out the project website at

For more information on SEI Pittsburgh Activities, contact Sonya Flournoy, at

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