The new A. James Clark Hall brings together the University of Maryland’s bioengineering program under a single roof from half a dozen sites on the College Park campus. The 184,000 sf LEED Gold facility is the only space in the nation dedicated to bioengineering and the translation of health-related products that incorporates FDA-funded Centers of Excellence in both regulatory science and pediatric device innovation.

Clark Hall’s design facilitates collaboration and cross-disciplinary work. Housing the Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, the building features flexible classrooms, an innovation lab, space for joint student projects, and 40,000 sf of research labs and prep areas. Conference rooms on each floor, and in the commons and terrace, provide additional opportunities for collaboration.

Schnabel conducted a subsurface exploration and laboratory testing program and made geotechnical engineering recommendations for the design of foundations, floors, ground improvement, earthwork, walls, pavements, and stormwater management structures.

When we discovered a spring under the former parking lot site, we provided recommendations to the contractor on how to manage and control the underground springs and to mitigate the impact of sensitive soils at the pavement subgrade, which the contractor implemented during construction. We also met with the owner’s general contractor during the development of the design recommendations, and incorporated their concerns into the recommendations provided.

During the construction phase, we provided geotechnical engineering services inclusive of a subsurface exploration program consisting of two dozen borings averaging 90 feet in depth to determine the bearing elevation of drilled shafts for the foundation.

Photo: © John T. Consoli and University of Maryland