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University of New Mexico

Reibsomer Hall Renovations

Albuquerque, NM


The Chemistry Department’s Reibsomer Hall Project renovated and modernized research and teaching labs. The remodel is the first project in support UNM’s efforts to rebuild Chemistry’s teaching and research mission. The Chemistry Building renovation provided several challenges including the building type, age, project budget, energy usage requirements, completion time and phasing through continuous occupancy. Through collaboration between the Owner, CMAR and design team; the project was completed successfully early and under budget with an owner credit at the end.

The project had a requirement to meet the deadline for state funding combined with working to keep the building operational through construction. This necessitated creativity in the sequencing of design packages and construction phasing. Early work packages were broken out of the scope of work in order to start work while the remainder of the design was being completed, and allowed the team to get ahead of the overall completion date. These packages included the restroom and utility cores as well as the long lead equipment. The design team worked closely with the CMAR and owners/users through design development and construction documents to assess the cost implications of all design decisions. Estimates were performed both by V&As’ cost estimator and the CMAR estimator at every design milestone. This was especially critical on this project given the limited funding circumstances. This process resulted in an integrated value engineering component which benefited the development of a series of alternates. The majority of the alternates were accepted allowing work previously thought to be out of the budget to be added.

Vigil & Associates was the architect/design professional of record. V&A worked in collaboration with HDR lab specialists of Phoenix for all phases of project design and construction administration. We worked with UNM and Construction Manager at Risk from the very beginning. Potential conflicts and problems were addressed through early collaboration with the owner, CMAR, and design team.

This project utilized several methodologies to gain the certification. The most extensive portion of the LEED effort is in energy modeling of the building systems. Gaining LEED certification for laboratory type buildings can be challenging due to the requirements of 100% exhaust air. By utilizing extensive energy modelling and innovative air circulation methods, the team was able to fine tune the HVAC system to be as efficient as possible and showing large efficiency gains over the baseline laboratory building. Also beneficial was utilizing resources on the campus to help this project.

• LEED Gold certified

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