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Joe and Rika Mansueto Library Larry Blouin Director of Construction Management Capital Project Delivery The University of Chicago


Project team: • 

Murphy/Jahn Architects

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Werner Sobek/ Halvorsen Engineers

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Barton Malow Construction

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Above-ground building minimized

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Below ground five stories

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Less mechanical conditioning required to maintain temperature of 60°F and relative humidity of 30%


Opened in May, 2011 Project cost: $81 million 58,699 GSF Overall volume: 1,985,970 CF


Project delivered as CM at risk Design assist used for several trade packages, including dome glass and structure Seele, Inc. was subcontracted to complete dome glass and structure work Value of their contract $14,500,000


Benefits of design assist: Significant cost savings realized • 

Round tube vs. square

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Glass modules standardized to German sizes in lieu of American

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Coordinated structural details with concave ring beam scope of work


Technical features of the dome: • 

691 panels of glass

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3 layers of glass in each panel

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Percentage of UV rays filtered by all dome glass: 98%

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Percentage of solar heat rejected by glass: 73%

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Percentage of visible light admitted by glass: 50%


Technical features of the dome: • 

Size of each panel: approximately 2x2 meters

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Thickness of panels: 1½”

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Percentage of fritted glass: 50%

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Number of rounded panels of glass in the dome: 0


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Slurry wall construction consisting of 26 panels, 30 inches thick, 75 feet high

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Removed 53,000 CY of material to make room for the basement


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Geometry of the dome is determined by two intersecting arcs (of circles)

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Designed to extremely tight tolerances

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Anchor bolt locations, individual connections carefully measured and checked

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Dome designer (Seele) and structural engineer carefully coordinated structural forces


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Grid mesh sheathed in glass

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Supported by straight steel pipes connected to cast steel nodes

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Primer coats applied in shop


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Glass skin comprised of lowE glass

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50% visible light transmitted

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Glass above 13’ patterned with ceramic frit

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Lower part of dome totally transparent

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Less than 1% of UV light transmitted


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Main floor layout critical

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All utilities enter from under the floor

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Not accessible after racks installed

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Curved walls with no column lines


Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) • 

Constructed while dome being erected

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Equipment removed through a smoke evac duct shaft


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Storage capacity: the equivalent of 3.5 million volumes

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5 robotic cranes retrieving bins and shelf racks

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Height of each crane is 50’

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Typical book retrieved in 5 minutes

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No other university in North America has a larger ASRS


Facades: Chi 2013 - Larry Blouin