SUNY Binghamton University, Science III/IV Building Addition

Project Profile: SUNY Binghamton University, Science III/IV Building Addition

Firm name: Erdman, Anthony, and Assocs. Inc.

Project building name and location: SUNY Binghamton University, Science III/IV Building Addition, Binghamton, N.Y.

Type of building and type of project: College or University, Renovation/Addition

Project completion date and project duration: August 2011

Engineering challenges and solutions:


The Science III/IV addition will house BSL-2 laboratory space, research labs, surgical suites, classroom laboratories and support facilities. The Science III/IV addition will be a multi-story structure that connects all floors of the existing Science III and Science IV buildings.

The Science III/IV addition will add approximately 70,000 gross sq ft to the complex’s existing 245,000 gross sq ft, and will be built over the plaza/basement between the Science III and Science IV Buildings. Once the Science III/IV addition is complete, personnel will be relocated there while the rest of the complex is renovated.

Erdman Anthony designed the mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems, many of which will be independent from the campus and Science III/IV complexes. Significant design features include:

  • A new chiller plant to provide year-round conditioning for the research facilities
  • Dedicated air handling units located within a rooftop Penthouse to support all ventilation needs
  • A new double-ended load center to supply all electrical loads in the building
  • A diesel emergency generator for life safety and critical loads
  • A fire alarm system to support renovation of the Science III/IV complex that will meet NFPA requirements for the entire complex (including Science III/IV)
  • A new high pressure fire main to supply the addition’s standpipe and automatic sprinkler systems

Engineering Challenges

  1. The research facilities require close temperature, relative humidity, and relative pressurization control.
  2. The Science III/IV addition will be connected to the existing complex and therefore low floor-to-floor elevations made it difficult to fit utilities into the spaces above the ceilings.

Solutions to the Above Challenges

  1. Many of the rooms were designed with volumetric air flow control on the supply and exhaust systems to maintain the proper differentials between the spaces. The design included wet chemistry labs with dedicated exhaust systems for a perchloric acid hood, radioactive hood, and other chemical systems.
  2. Using 3-D modeling techniques and interference detection software, Erdman Anthony coordinated the architectural, structural and MEP systems and validated that the building could be constructed as shown in the traditional plan and elevation drawings released for bid.


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