The Texas A&M Health Professions Education Building began on a true greenfield site—raw land requiring more than 26,000 linier ft of underground utility service. The 138,000-sq-ft building, 13,000-sq-ft central utility plant, support structures and site improvements sit on approximately 45 acres.

Photo: Satterfield & Pontikes Construction

The site created substantial challenges because the soil conditions are not conducive to drastic grade changes. With 50 ft of elevation difference, phasing and material handling was a project within the project.

The education building and an adjacent building, also built by general contractor, Satterfield and Pontikes, have a 20-ft starting elevation difference separated by only 40 ft horizontally. The buildings had to be constructed simultaneously, which meant site improvement phasing with building components and timing were both critical.

Construction and design teams identified the challenges early. Specifically, site-retaining walls and utilities were reviewed and ultimately designed in a manner that would allow them to be constructed in sections or in locations that still allowed the flow of building materials.

The utility tunnel and walkway connecting the buildings and main entrance were modified so that auger-cast-piling operation mobilizations were reduced from three to two.

Key Players

Submitted by: Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc.
Developer/owner: Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas
General contractor: Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Inc., Houston
Program manager: Broaddus & Associates, Austin
Architect: FKP Architects, Houston
Civil engineer: Mitchell & Morgan LLC, College Station
Structural engineer: Haynes Whaley Associates, Houston
MEP engineer: Shah Smith & Associates Inc., Houston