Tuesday, May 30th, 2017


Catena Innovates PT Column and Girder Solution for Knight Cancer Research Building

by Jason Thompson

Catena has been busy over the past two years with Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, SRG Partnership, McCarthy/Andersen, and many other partners in a collective quest to cure cancer.  The result of a highly-collaborative integrated project delivery process, the $190 million, 320,000 square-foot Knight Cancer Research Building is steadily rising in the South Waterfront, currently on time and on budget.  Challenged by significant geotechnical constraints and the need to create open and flexible collaborative spaces for the over 600 researchers and administrators, catena’s creativity and keen eye towards lasting function and cost-efficiency resulted in several innovative structural solutions.

The building includes post-tensioned concrete flat slab construction at lab floors that span 42 feet between columns – double the width of a standard lab module.  The use of concrete flat slabs allows for minimal floor-to-floor height and an ability to eliminate dropped ceilings.  Care was given to ensure long-term slab performance, mitigation of visible cracking for the best possible diamond polished floor finish, and sufficient tendon cover for installation of anchors during initial and future tenant improvements.

Another significant structural innovation led to the creation of a 60-foot by 84-foot column-free space for the auditorium on Level 1.  A standard column transfer girder solution at Level 2 would have resulted in significant ceiling height impacts and deflection concerns while supporting the six floors above.  Instead, catena designed a full-story-high concrete transfer girder between Levels 6 and 7 where programming allowed, and suspended the concrete column from Level 2 upward.  Both the transfer girder and suspended column utilize bonded post-tensioning.

***image credit: SRG Partnership

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