NCA&T Education Building featured in Go Structural Mag

North Carolina A&T University’s Samuel D. Proctor School of Education building was designed to make a statement. The intent of the university and architect was to create a building with a “wow factor” as the gateway into the revitalized main part of campus. This multi-award-winning building offers a unique visual experience and physically represents the university’s theme of creating a “catalyst for learning and leading.”

The 52-foot-long, 40-foot-wide, two-story-tall cantilever provides the visual impact. However, that was just one of the numerous challenges associated with this project, which required a finely tuned orchestra of team members to bring the entire design together. The building is located at the intersection of two main roads and is visible from all sides, so it had to be as aesthetically pleasing from the back door as it is from the front. The site slopes a full story height through the length of the building, causing a portion of the lowest level to be 17 feet below grade. The building has an intricate ribbon window wall panel system that parallels the long, lean shape of the building. The wide-open, three-story-tall, glass-encased entrance lobby, with its highly exposed ornamental stair, was a project within the project. All of these design challenges were met in the design process and carried out successfully during construction with everyone working together with an unparalleled team effort.

The building is a three-story, steel-framed structure housing classrooms, an auditorium, conference rooms, study rooms, and offices, including the Dean of the School of Education, who is proud to be located on the top floor at the end of the cantilever. The structural system consists of composite steel framing supported on steel columns with reinforced concrete spread footings. The lateral force resisting system of the main building is steel braced frames in one direction and ordinary steel moment frames in the other. The lateral system of the cantilevered portion of the building is built integrally with the gravity system to meet the challenge of the cantilever.

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