The Center for Coastal and Deltaic Solutions
Owner: Commercial Properties Realty Trust
Lead Design Firm: Coleman Partners Architects LLC
General Contractor: The Lemoine Co.
Civil Engineer: Stantec
Structural Engineer: Wardlaw & Lasseigne LLC
MEP Engineer: Assaf, Simoneaux; Tauzin & Associates Inc.
Architect: Perkins + Will
Geotechnical Engineer: GeoEngineers Inc.
This project is part of the initial phase of a 33-acre water campus that will house water science and research facilities to support marine science across the Gulf Coast region.
The work on the $20-million project, a runner-up for Project of the Year, included building a three-story, elevated-dock structure on the banks of the Mississippi River, just south of the I-10 bridge in Baton Rouge, and the site of a historic river dock.
The elevated dock is made of cast-in-place concrete, precast planks, structural steel and a glass and metal-scrim envelope with metal roofing. The concrete bridge deck rises over the Mississippi River levee. The new building includes meeting rooms, exhibition space, a gallery, research labs and administrative space.
The hybrid structural design of the elevated dock allowed the contractor to shorten the time needed to construct an elevated work platform, which in turn promoted safe access to the elevated portion of the structure. It also minimized any exposures in case the river rose rapidly.
Preconstruction proved crucial for bringing to life the project, which was years in the making. Working with an original budget of $35 million, the team used cost engineering to overcome significant cuts in state funding and reduced the budget by $15 million without sacrificing the building’s architectural vision. That was done through extensive price analyses with trade partners, along with several constructibility reviews aimed at more efficient construction.
Best Projects judges said they were impressed by the project’s “profoundly creative use of an otherwise unused, historical dock as a gathering space for the community.”