The university began planning the project in 2013 and has set several goals for the project, including improving the patient experience, improving dental education, revitalizing research resources, and upgrading utilities.
The project entails creating a new main patient entrance and redesigned registration area, increasing the size of dental operatories to accommodate a team of specialists and interprofessional care, adding video capabilities in the operating areas, repairing the exterior envelope, addressing deferred maintenance, and improving the life safety, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems, including the addition of a new emergency power generator.
The collaborative areas added to the ground floor and outdoors offer comfortable space for occupants and the campus community to gather and connect.
SmithGroup of Ann Arbor designed the 48,000-square-foot, three-story addition in the school’s former courtyard and 176,000-square-foot renovation. The addition, with places to congregate and talk, will allow for better collaboration among researchers.
The new spaces are designed with flexibility in mind. Open laboratory spaces have mobile lab stations and flexible furniture systems to allow re-arrangement to accommodate changing requirements in the future. Power, data, and other services are brought into laboratory stations by overhead ceiling service panels to further enhance flexibility.
The state contributed $30 million toward the project. The Delta Dental Foundation contributed funds for a clinic to serve patients with special needs. The balance of funds came from university resources.
The new special care clinic is designed for patients that need accommodation. Larger dental stations allow for ease of movement for wheelchair users and additional space for the caregivers of patients. Radiology is included in each clinic space to provide enhanced accessibility for patients.
The company used building information modeling to aid in communication. The team initially divided the construction into 14 phases to allow continued occupancy and use of the clinical research and educational facilities throughout the renovation. The phasing plan focused on maintaining as many available dental clinic operatories as possible for patient care throughout construction and evolved into 25 phases of work.
The area has a tight site in one of the busiest pedestrian zones on Central Campus and adjacent to the Central Campus Transit Center.
The School of Dentistry sent monthly update emails to surrounding facility managers, neighbors, and user groups about project progress, milestones, and upcoming site work.
Two adjacent, multi-year construction projects added complexity to the dental school project, but with close coordination and communication with project managers all work was able to proceed. Granger developed detailed and coordinated site logistics plan for the project.
Keeping the building fully operational throughout construction, as crews installed new HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical systems, was a challenge. But Granger has successfully done just that.
Granger Project Director Paul Roller attributes this to “the project team’s careful planning, the insight of the skilled trades completing the work, and the School of Dentistry’s flexibility as building conditions evolve with the renovation.”
The majority of the infrastructure replacement has been completed with more than one year remaining in the project.
The design includes bringing in a considerable amount of natural daylight, which reduces lighting load and electrical consumption in the courtyard research addition. Daylight is brought further into the building spaces through use of interior windows. Vertical sun shading provides glare control and shading from low sun angles on the west side of the building.
Sustainability features include LED lighting fixtures, daylight sensors to reduce the need for artificial lighting, and occupancy sensors to control lighting and mechanical systems.
A 5-foot-tall water detention system made of modular, reinforced, high-strength concrete units was designed to fit into the small courtyard area and exceed rainwater loading requirements. The basin provides water storage for 2,166 cubic feet and is designed to detain runoff volume for a 100-year, 24-hour storm event and an additional 20 percent beyond the anticipated rainwater runoff.
Granger diverted as much construction waste as possible away from landfills and materials used were sourced where possible from within 500 miles of the site.
Additionally, opting to reuse the existing structure reduces adverse environmental impacts associated with new construction, such as construction waste. Granger added insulation to the roof system and the clinical area’s exterior walls.
The project included replacing windows in the existing structure with modern, thermally broken frames, with low-E insulated glazing in the renovated clinical and commons areas.
Old HVAC systems are replaced with energy-efficient systems, which can adjust to load variations. The Palmer Chiller Plant provides chilled water, creating opportunities for economies of scale and lower operating costs.
The project remains on schedule for a spring of 2022 completion, despite construction being paused for a few months in spring 2020 due to COVID-19 and the state’s stay-at-home executive order.
Three of the planned new clinics have opened. They are the Victors West (Maize) Clinic, a new pre-doctoral education clinic; the Graduate Periodontics Clinic; and the Bien Air PAES and Delta Dental Integrated Special Care clinics.
Photos courtesy of Granger Construction Co.