Under Construction

Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of October 2023

Facilities Management Advisor’s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

Modern Facility for Historic Cemetery

October is a spooky season all about Halloween, so of course this month’s list had to include at least one project to commemorate the holiday. Although the historic Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta’s oldest public park, didn’t qualify for our ranking of the 13 Most Haunted Facilities in America, we’d be grave-ly mistaken to think its new net-zero visitor center didn’t deserve the top spot here.

Rendering courtesy of Historic Oakland Foundation

Organization: Historic Oakland Foundation
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Type of project: New build
Size: 10,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $7.7 million
Designer: Smith Dalia Architects
Status: Ground broken Sept. 5
Expected completion: 2025

Interesting tidbit: Serving as a “welcoming front door,” the new Oakland Cemetery Visitor Center will feature a bigger museum store, as well as event and office space. Large glass entryways and windows will provide a modern contrast to the structure’s red brick, which pays homage to the cemetery’s defining walls and walkways. Incorporating electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels, the facility will be an EarthCraft-certified, net-zero building, meaning it produces more energy than it consumes. Other sustainable features include bioretention gardens for the site’s stormwater and the use of salvaged materials, including tiles from the recently shuttered Nabisco factory (another historic landmark in Atlanta).

Quote: Atlanta Parks and Rec Commissioner Justin Cutler said, “Oakland Cemetery is a treasure for our city not only as a park and place of recreation, but also as a historic site that allows us to acknowledge our history as we work to chart a more equitable future.”

More details available here.

Penn State Stadium Renovations

After receiving approvals and picking its design-build team, Penn State is moving forward with a $700 million, multi-year Beaver Stadium renovation project. The first stage will focus on priority maintenance and safety work, pipe insulation and other winterization, and architectural and design development. Later stages include the complete reconstruction of the stadium’s west side and code upgrades, accessibility improvements, and enhanced fan amenities.

Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics

Organization: Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, Pa.
Type of project: Renovation 
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: $700 million
Design-build team: Populous and a joint venture of Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt, and Alexander
Status: Project partners announced mid-October
Expected completion: Final stages done ahead of the 2027 football season

Interesting tidbit: Beaver Stadium’s official seating capacity is 106,572, making it the second-largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere and among the top five largest in the world. When Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi announced project plans, she noted that renovating the 63-year-old facility is “far more economical than a new build.” As of May, Beaver Stadium had a backlog of more than $200 million of deferred maintenance.

Quote: Bill Sitzabee, VP for facilities management and planning and Penn State’s chief facilities officer, said, “External partners and internal team members are now fully equipped and excited to get started on this large, complex project.”

More details available here.

Yale ‘Apostles of the Environment’

Yale Divinity School (YDS) broke ground on a new student residence hall that is expected to give back more to the environment than it takes. Called “The Living Village,” the project is designed to meet the exacting standards of the Living Building Challenge and be the largest living-building housing complex on a university campus.

Photo courtesy of YDS

Organization: Yale Divinity School
Location: New Haven, Conn.
Type of project: New build
Size: 45,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $85 million
Design-build team: Bruner/Cott Architects, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Andropogon Associates, et al.
Status: Ground broken Oct. 11
Expected completion: August 2025

Interesting tidbit: The Living Village will have a net-positive carbon, energy, and water footprint. According to YDS, the project aims to make a moral and theological statement about the need for constructing buildings that are in harmony with nature in a time of climate crisis. It will support the school’s goal to inspire and equip divinity students to become “apostles of the environment.”

Quote: With the Living Village being constructed on YDS’s current parking lot, School Dean Greg Sterling said, “In a reverse of the famous Joni Mitchell lyric, we are un-paving a parking lot and putting up ‘paradise.'”

More details available here.

Goldman Sachs Dallas Campus

Financial giant Goldman Sachs broke ground on a new Dallas campus that will reportedly cost $500 million and consolidate its Dallas-Fort Worth workers in one building, with the capacity to house over 5,000 employees. Located on three acres of the broader NorthEnd mixed-use development, the office facility will include two wings and sit alongside an urban park.

Rendering courtesy of Goldman Sachs

Organizations: Goldman Sachs, Hunt Realty (building owner), and Hillwood Urban (developer)
Location: Dallas, Texas
Type of project: New build
Size: 800,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $500 million
Designer: Henning Larsen Architects
Status: Ground broken Oct. 10
Expected completion: Late 2027

Interesting tidbit: The all-electric building aims to achieve LEED sustainability and WELL healthy building certifications. With purpose-built workspaces, social spaces, and on-floor collaboration opportunities and hospitality offerings, the building will also feature a café, a fitness center, back-up childcare, underground parking, and access to a variety of outdoor gardens and terraces.

Quote: Goldman Sachs President and COO John Waldron said, “We have been operating in Dallas for more than 50 years—this state-of-the-art new campus further demonstrates our commitment to Dallas, and is testament to the incredible talent and strong client base in the region.”

More details available here.

DFW Airport Central Utility Plant

As part of its commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is building a new, electric Central Utility Plant (eCUP) that will provide sustainably powered heating and cooling capacity to support the airport’s growth. The $234 million facility will be primarily fueled by electricity purchased by DFW that comes from 100% renewable sources.

Rendering courtesy of DFW

Organization: DFW Airport
Location: Between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
Type of project: New build
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: $234 million
Status: Ground broken Aug. 9
Expected completion: Mid-2025

Interesting tidbit: Once complete, the eCUP is expected to provide additional capacity for future airport growth, substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions, improve local air quality by reducing ozone precursor emissions, and lower the plant’s water usage by 29%, compared with today’s systems.

Quote: Airport CEO Sean Donohue said, “As we prepare to build new gates and other critical infrastructure, we also will ensure that our growth is environmentally responsible and resilient. The eCUP will help us meet these goals and further our commitment to sustainability and innovation.”

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

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