This first phase of the Grady E. Harvell Civil Engineering and Research Center acts as a pinnacle in the Arkansas Research & Technology Park for research, development, and innovation. The new building creates productive and enthusiastic spaces with sizeable work areas and ample amounts of natural light.
The proposed 35,500 SF Grady E. Harvell Civil Engineering Education and Research Center (HCEC) will combine research and teaching laboratory space currently housed in three buildings on three separate campuses. It is a phased project that will eventually culminate with new geotechnical and asphalt laboratories and a new facility for the school’s Center for Training Transportation Professionals (CTTP). The Research and Education Center is located at the Arkansas Research & Technology Park (ARTP). This development further strengthens the presence of the university at this satellite location and progresses the university’s master plan for the ARTP campus.
The design of the Education and Research Center consist of two shifted rectangular masses with a lean-to type structure at the rear. The shift in the masses allows the use of a polycarbonate wall system to bring natural lighting into the strong floor structures lab and acts a beacon for the building at night. The design also incorporates a horizontal brise soleil system that provides shade to the south facing glass to reduce heat gain and glare in the adjacent spaces.
The heart of the building houses the strong floor and is where the full-scale structural testing takes place. In addition to the strong floor, the building also houses a concrete and mixing laboratory, a metallurgy laboratory, and an advanced testing laboratory for small scale structural testing. The project also provides educational classroom spaces as well as graduate and faculty research spaces.
The strong floor in the high bay area of the building allows students and faculty to erect, evaluate and test to failure full scale structural components such as those found in buildings and roads. The research will be used to create new typologies of structural connections and help reform building codes.