When the University of Chicago’s Joe and Rika Mansueto Library opens its doors in spring 2011 as planned, it will combine distinctive above-ground architecture with sophisticated underground support. Designed by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Inc. and built by Barton Malow Co., the one-of-a-kind library will feature reading areas enclosed by a four-story glass-and-steel dome above a five-story-deep, climate-controlled underground storage vault that will protect and automatically deliver up to 3.5 million periodicals, books and rare research materials. Photo: Barton Malow Co. Oval-shaped glass dome will rest on a 120-ft by 240-ft slurry wall, initially drawn as a perfect
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.