Welch Hall 1925 East and West Wing Renovations
The University of Texas System -  Austin Campus
Architect: CO Architects & Tanaguchi Architects
Role: Construction Management and Inspections

Robert A. Welch Hall is a iconic multi-use facility that houses ten lecture halls, undergraduate and graduate administrative offices, laboratories, and classrooms associated with the Mass Spectrometry, NMA Spectroscopy, ESA Spectroscopy, Chemistry, and Biochemistry departments. In addition, a large greenhouse is located on the roof of the southeast corner.

The building suffered from a long list of problems, including; outdated MEP systems in most of the building, aging equipment, inefficient lab layouts, inflexible lab and building services, lack of separation between classroom and research spaces, integrity failures of various exterior wall and roof surfaces, and life safety and security concerns. The University commissioned a study to look at how the building might best be used in the future.

That study provided valuable information, but more work and analysis was necessary before a final decision could be made on the adaptations the building will required in order to continue to function as a major science facility for the campus.

Despite its age, the structure was sound and was very serviceable. The building was entirely reinforced concrete and clad in brick. Numerous other interior renovations had been performed over the previous years, but the need for a modem state of the art chemistry building could not be achieved without a major gut and remodel. In order to maintain classes the project was divided into two phases - the East wing renovation and the West wing renovation.

Project Description

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was focused on maintaining a nationally competitive chemistry department. A state of the art facility is an important component to help them maintain their goal. Scientific technology has by-passed Welch Hall’s ability to provide a suitable foundation for research and in order to maintain the quality of the department’s programs, this renovation project was critical.

My duties were to provide on-site construction management and inspection of work, and act as eyes and ears of the owner (University of Texas System).

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