Tradition Defies Convention

The University of Virginia simultaneously embraced Thomas Jefferson’s tradition and defied convention in its new Claude Moore Medical Education Building. Anticipating the changing landscape of healthcare delivery and education, the facility combines a full spectrum of learning technologies that will accelerate the integration of clinical education early in the curriculum - and provide the school with some much-needed elbowroom in the process.

Tight Site – No Problem

The project was built on a tight urban site – only one acre – in the middle of the U.Va. Grounds, just behind the Medical Center. The building excavation directly abutted two busy streets and an existing medical research building, all of which remained open throughout construction. The excavation for two subterranean floors left minimal space for construction activities. This limited the team’s craning options and required creative phasing for construction activities. The team adopted just-in-time material delivery solutions similar to automotive manufacturing industry practices. Building information modeling (BIM) was used to coordinate work, including the installation of major utilities below two adjacent roads.

True Teamwork

The unique circular window system, designed by CO Architects, and its integration with adjacent materials was especially challenging. The project team came together at the onset of construction to study and coordinate the constructability of these systems. Important issues were resolved before construction started. The coordination process and subsequent installation resulted in an aesthetically beautiful, and practical, watertight assembly.

Claude Moore recently opened its doors to the class of 2014, giving students and faculty an extraordinary opportunity to retool the school’s curriculum to better meet the needs of medical students. The project reflects tried and true practices of teamwork, paired with cutting edge technology like BIM, and open-minded solutions. Thomas Jefferson approve!