Applied Engineering and Technology Building, UTSA Main Campus

UTSA gears up for move into new Applied Engineering and Technology Building

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(Sept. 24, 2009)--Although the official ribbon cutting will not be until spring 2010, many UTSA students, faculty and staff are anticipating the completion of the new $82.5 million Applied Engineering and Technology Building (AET) on the Main Campus. The 145,440-square-foot facility, a phase II expansion of its neighbor, the Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building (BSE), should be completed by the end of October.

"UTSA is committed to becoming a tier-one research university and to achieve that, we need the proper facilities," said Kerry L. Kennedy, UTSA vice president for business affairs. "The new Applied Engineering and Technology building will support the future growth of the university by providing much-needed laboratory and office space for our faculty and students. It also will relieve many of the space issues we have in other buildings on campus, once the faculty are re-located into the new space."

The four-story AET building includes 87 faculty offices, 36 research laboratories and other support spaces. The ground floor includes five classrooms -- three of which are already in use -- as well as a hydrology, animal science and teaching laboratory.

Faculty slated to occupy the building will move between Sept. 28 and Nov. 6. To support the rapid growth in the student population and the research activity in the College of Engineering, its four departments will expand into the AET's first and second floors. They include the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The College of Sciences' Department of Physics and Astronomy will occupy the third floor.

Designed by the San Antonio architectural firm Garza-Bomberger and engineered by Austin-based HMG and Associates, the new building has been constructed by general contractor Walbridge/Bartlett Cocke, a joint venture with San Antonio connections, under the supervision of the University of Texas Office of Facility Planning and Construction (OFPC) and the UTSA Office of Facilities. The building was funded by Permanent University Funds and tuition revenue bonds.


Architectural profile

The exterior fa├žade of the five-story Applied Engineering and Technology Building includes 18,000 cubic yards of excavated native limestone rock, blending with the neighboring BSE Building, which features a blend of limestone, stucco and sloped clay-tile roofs. Construction materials for the AET included 2,200 linear feet of foundational piers, 200 tons of erected steel, 10,000 cubic yards of concrete and 1,400 tons of stone veneer.

Mechanical specifications include a 950-kilowatt generator (30,000 pounds), double-ended 4,000-amp electrical service (60,000 pounds), 32 miles of mechanical and plumbing piping, 72 miles of conduit and 242,170 pounds of ductwork.

The new building's north plaza, still under construction, will include a bronze fountain with stainless steel elements, a design based loosely on atomic and molecular structures. Recycled condensate from the chillers cooling the AET will supply the fountain with water. The north plaza also will include two stainless steel, LED-illuminated light columns and six stainless steel and mahogany sculptural benches.

Applied Engineering and Technology Building: By the numbers

Size: 145,440 square feet

Cost: $82,500,000

Cost per square foot: $567.24

Duration of construction: 790 calendar days

Total number of project workers: average of 200 per day

Number of lecture halls: 0

Number of elevators: 3

Number of vending machines: 21

Number of chairs purchased: 1,219

Number of faculty to be moved: 60

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