The North Science Building is a 74,000 sq. ft. 4-story (over basement) concrete frame structure with exterior brick veneer walls. It was constructed in 1928 as the second half of the Science Building, which was originally built in 1924, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to the seismic strengthening, an extensive renovation of the basement and first floors of North Science will provide the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and the USC Earth Science Department with much more space than in the previous configuration. SCEC will occupy over 3/4 of the first floor (three times the space as before), and space in the basement will be used for laboratories and classrooms for the Earth Sciences Department.
During the summer of 2001 (3 months), the construction included seismic retrofit, accessibility improvements, mechanical upgrades, and two floors of complete renovation were completed. The seismic retrofit considered several aspects of the project including: a Life Safety performance criteria, the historical significance of the building, compact site limitations, the full renovation scope of work, and the compressed construction schedule. With these criteria, the team designed two reinforced concrete shear “tubes” with an innovative micropile and mat foundation system in the existing courtyard of the building. This satisfied the performance criteria, avoided historical finishes, provided a compact foundation, allowed concurrent renovation work and, most importantly, met the construction schedule. The structural system for this project has been applauded by the owner, contractor, and design team for its success.
“In all cases, we have found that the firm has provided excellent services to the University. In particular, Saiful Bouquet has been able to develop innovative and cost effective solutions during the development of a scope of a project, as well as produce properly detailed construction documents. In addition, Saiful/Bouquet has been very responsive to issues which arise during construction… As a result, Saiful Bouquet is highly recommended for any future structural engineering services.”
-Steve Lohr, Project Director, USC