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Clemson University Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Clemson University Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business | Clemson, SC

The new home for Clemson University Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is a think tank environment, bringing students, faculty, and industry together in a collaborative, inspiring space that is forward-thinking in its design and daily application. The 176,000-sq.-ft. facility has relocated the Clemson University Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business from Sirrine Hall, which was built in 1938.

The Challenges

Reducing impacts to campus was an overriding challenge on the high-profile project, from preconstruction through project turnover. Situated in the heart of Clemson University and within direct view of the office of the President of Clemson, the site was a main thoroughfare for pedestrian traffic due to the addition of a 1,700-bed housing/dining complex constructed just 4 years ago. Extensive preplanning on how to reroute traffic and reduce impacts to campus visitors was essential. DPR was also challenged to closely coordinate the project’s schedules, deliveries and other day-to-day activities with three other major contractors who were working in the same area on different projects.

The College of Business project was completed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring the implementation of a variety of additional physical distancing protocols.

Construction progress photo
Construction progress shot
The Solutions

The design and construction team employed myriad solutions to deliver a space that fostered collaboration, innovation and engagement. Technology solutions and VDC tools focused on increasing project efficiency and quality, including 4D scheduling, virtual walkthroughs, QR codes for heavy equipment tracking, aerial site photography, and live video feed of the jobsite, to name just a few.

To ensure the building fit in with others on campus, DPR built a wall mockup with several brick samples that was compared to other nearby buildings before an exterior brick was chosen. Exterior skin mockups were created to test for water penetration. Several of the brick panes were even place on a flatbed trailer and driven to each of the historic buildings that surround the site.

To assist end users with interior options, DPR built a mock-up of several office suites that included the Dean’s suite showcasing products under consideration. Each month Clemson faculty rotated through the space, providing feedback on furniture, lighting, electrochromic glass and other products.

During preconstruction, DPR added value by providing design-assist services, performing constructability review of documents working with several key consultants and devising several engineering solutions.

The team also delivered several sustainability solutions on this project, which helped it achieve its 3 Green Globes certification. They repurposed trees that had to be cut down into wood sills, paneling, flooring, benches and tables in the facility; utilized Smart Glass, or intelligent, electrochromic glazing to save up to 20 percent in energy costs; and deployed extensive erosion controls measures to avoid polluting the water supply.

Exterior of building under construction
Two construction working on jobsite.
Construction site in progress
Interior of jobsite in progress
The Result

DPR hit substantial completion in the spring of 2020 on the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, opening its doors to students for the fall semester.

The 176,000-sq.-ft. facility relocates the College of Business from Sirrine Hall, which was built in 1938.

The predominantly brick and glass towers features an open design that includes a soaring five-story atrium.

The team also delivered several sustainability solutions on this project, which helped it achieve its 3 Green Globes certification.

In addition to a multitude of technology-equipped classrooms, the building will house faculty and staff support offices, the college’s institutes and many shared learning spaces.

“Working with DPR has been a true pleasure over the last several years. They are always responsive and always willing to take on any challenge. As Larry Lord, with Lord Aeck Sargent once said to me when I was checking a reference for DPR: "There are a lot of good CM's out there but the DPR folks are just fun to work with". I agree wholeheartedly.”

Paul M. Borick

Project Manager - Capital Projects, Clemson University

The Awards
ENR SOUTHEAST

Best Higher Education / Research Project in the Southeast 2020

ENR Southeast awarded the Clemson University Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business as the “Southeast’s Best Higher Education / Research Project” in 2020. Judges independently review entries using five criteria, including overcoming challenges & teamwork, safety, construction quality & craftsmanship, innovation & contribution to the industry/community and functionality of design & aesthetic quality.

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