Project Highlight: Hobart Institute

All in One Tech Center

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology‘s (HIWT) new 133 person technical center was designed as an all-in-one technical training facility.  Built to accommodate 120 welding students and 13 staff, the facility is designed to meet the growing demand for skilled trade services in the workforce by giving welding professionals a place to enhance and maintain their skills as well as providing an opportunity to earn new certifications.

3D BIM Models

Using 3D BIM models from the start of the project to coordinate architecture, steel and design, Ferguson’s design team was able to show the owner a complete visualization of the project.  3D BIM also helped with zoning approval, but more importantly to the project along with renderings these models helped the neighboring community understand the design, erasing their concerns about the building’s character and aesthetics residing within their neighborhood.

The 3D models were also helpful with coordination of the subcontractors for the building’s mechanical systems.  The classroom mechanical systems called for high intensity HVAC services to handle the heating, cooling, and fresh air demands.  HIWT requested the ceiling be as high as possible, so the 3D models enabled Ferguson to sit down with the subcontractors to map out ductwork, piping, how conduit could go through joists, and what could go underneath or around to meet the owner’s ceiling height requirement.

Unique Design Details and Requirements

The technical requirements of this project brought on their own unique designs.  The building accommodates classrooms, hands on learning areas for welding students, as well as laboratory spaces for non-destructive testing and x-raying of welds, each having with their own set of individual requirements.  

Ferguson was able to design a building that maximized daylight in every possible space utilizing the request for optimum ceiling height.  A large row of tinted clear story windows help bring sunlight into the interior of the building.   The windows allow natural light to enter into all of the classrooms and office areas.  Low and clear story windows were added to the welding booths, shops, and lab spaces to also bring in as much natural light as possible.  This is crucial for these spaces due to the extensive amount of equipment in each one of these rooms.

Showcasing the flooring for the entry, lobby, hallways was another special design feature. The flooring was created out of river rock that was added to the exposed concrete floor.  It was then grounded and polished to give the look of a high-end terrazzo floor finish.  Due to the extra curing involved Ferguson monitored the concrete and moved sprinklers for five days to eliminate any possible cracking within the flooring. The exposed flooring required extra consideration for wet curing and protection from lift, masonry, and any other extensive work on top of it. 

In addition to all the unique design details of the building, site design and layout was somewhat complicated as well.  A steep drop off with a creek running slanted to the property line, complicated the site design and layout, both tanks and the massive exhaust system handling the welding fumes were to be placed at the back of the building with immediate accessibility, and HIWT also requested room for future expansion.  Ferguson worked with HIWT to provide a solution that would allow maximum parking and site utilization meeting all of their design requirements.

Ferguson’s design team was able to meet all of HIWT’s unique requirements for this project and provided creative solutions to various complications as well.

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