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Elaine & Peter Emrick Technology Center

 Customer Testimonial

2006 Excellence in Construction Award Winner 

Miller, Miller & McLachlan was contracted as the Construction Manager to work with the owner and the design team to help value engineer the design of this project.  Almost every component of the building was reviewed from the foundation, floor coverings and roofing systems to the HVAC system.  The project went through several design changes to meet the aesthetic, functional and budgetary considerations of the owner. During the contract bid process 17 alternates and an additional 23 cost savings options were reviewed to bring the project within the owner’s budget.

After subcontracts were written, but before construction began, the owner received a state grant which required re-bidding the project to include Prevailing Wage rates.  In February 2005 a change order was written covering the additional cost of prevailing wages and alternates that were now affordable to the owner.

This 3.1 million dollar building was built to resemble the buildings that stood during the 18th and 19th century in a thriving industrial complex in the Hugh Moore Park area and yet the building contains 21st century technology from the foundation to the electrical light dimming system. 

The project included the installation of a sewage pump and force main sewage system across the bridge which spans the Lehigh River into the park.

Special soils engineering was required for the foundation because of the silt soil commonly found on the island. Several feet of soil had to be removed and replaced with compacted stone before construction of the building proceeded.

The foundations of the exterior canopy were done using helical pier technology rather than replacing the silt soil.

The building façade and structure was constructed to cost effectively resemble materials used during the 19th century.  The brick, partial wood roof decking, architectural roof shingles, standing seam metal roofing, faux divided light windows and window enclosures were constructed to reflect the historic time period.

The mix of historic replication and new technology was abundant in the project.  The roof structure was constructed to resemble the metal roof trusses that were used during the time period whereas the roof deck is a special sound absorbing roof decking to support the end use.

The HVAC system is a geothermal system that is left exposed in the Work Room to teach students about new technology.

The archival storage required exacting HVAC controls and a pre-action fire suppression system to protect the historic media stored in the archival and reading room areas.

The first floor of the building includes a reception area, preparation room, souvenir store, classroom, workshop exhibit spaces and public restrooms.

The second floor has additional exhibit space, offices, research room and archival storage. 

The third level includes two large mechanical mezzanine areas.

The building will house exhibits artifacts and house the Archives of the National Canal Museum. One challenge that had to be overcome was due to the size of the steam engine exhibit.  The exhibit had to be installed after the foundation and slab were constructed but before the rest of the structure.  The building was actually built around this exhibit. The building also has 10’ x 10’ insulated hollow metal doors on both floors so that new exhibits can be brought into the museum space in the future.

The owner’s representative said: “Miller, Miller & McLachlan did an excellent   job, first working with the architect to effect savings and later in managing the construction of the new Emrick Technology Center.  We are proud of the quality of the new building.  It was a pleasure to work with Miller, Miller & McLachlan.”

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