Approximately 75% of the Sam Houston State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building’s first level was below ground and surrounded by an 18-in.-thick retaining wall, which had to be completed before the remainder of the second level slab-on-grade could be finished.

Sam Houston State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Huntsville
Photo: Geoff Lyons

The construction of the foundations was particularly challenging after the discovery of ground water that did not appear on the soils report.

The contractor, SpawGlass, elected to use a tower crane to erect the steel superstructure because the construction site was too cramped to use a conventional crane. Located in the center of the SHSU campus, the facility was surrounded on three sides by multiple utilities including chilled water, hot water, 15kv electrical duct banks, fiberoptic data duct banks, sewer lines, domestic water lines and natural gas service. That left crews with only one option for the location of the tower crane because the utilities could not be relocated.

Crews then implemented the project’s BIM model to determine the best location for the tower-crane foundations. A small portion of the new storm sewer was rerouted to accommodate the tower-crane foundation into the new structural foundations and footings.

Key Players

Submitted by: SpawGlass
Owner: Sam Houston State University, Huntsville
General contractor: SpawGlass, Houston
Architect: WHR Architects, Houston
Structural engineer: Haynes Whaley Associates, Houston
MEP engineer: E&C Engineering & Consultants, Houston
Civil engineer: Walter P Moore, Houston