University of New Haven Bergami Center for Science, Technology & Innovation

West Haven, Connecticut

Award of Merit

OWNER: University of New Haven

LEAD DESIGN FIRM: Svigals + Partners

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Consigli Construction Co.

CIVIL ENGINEER: Westcott & Mapes

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Michael Horton Associates Inc.

SUBCONTRACTORS: Advanced Performance Glass Inc. (Curtain Wall); Connecticut Mason Contractors; A&A Drywall & Acoustics; EMCOR Services New England (Mechanical)

This 45,000-sq-ft, $30.5-million project includes flexible classrooms, huddle spaces, makerspace and a sports lab for instruction and competition. The three-story  addition to the Buckman Science and Engineering Building doubles the space for science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics and related studies. The Bergami Center “embodies our university-wide commitment to fostering innovation, cultivating creativity and ingenuity, and educating the next generation of problem solvers,” university President Steven H. Kaplan said in a statement. 

The LEED-Gold-certified structure is on track to use 40% less energy than a conventional facility. The team says it integrated natural and locally sourced construction materials and installed highly efficient mechanical infrastructure, advanced building controls and other sustainable features.

The project was completed over budget due to the need to redesign connections for undersized city stormwater mains. These issues were found in early site excavation that were incorrectly identified in old surveys. The redesign helped regain time, but COVID-related material and equipment shortages put additional pressure on the schedule. 

An added design and planning challenge was maintaining the existing loading dock location while upgrading it to expand centralized dumpster service. The team also faced the need to coordinate phasing of the facility and the utility building to allow for the Buckman Building to remain occupied during construction.