SMU Simmons Hall: Design, Manufacturing, Project Coordination – 2016 CSI Award, 2017 Golden Trowel Award
The HAROLD CLARK SIMMONS HALL is a classic building on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. It is an academic building with classroom and student labs for various departments.
The structure is approximately 40,000 square feet.
The architectural stone cladding and design accent kept the building consistent with the adjacent buildings on the campus.
The project won 2016 awards from the CSI (Cast Stone Institute) in the categories of Design Excellence, and also Manufacturing Excellence.
The project won 2017 Golden Trowel Award in category of educational buildings.
Oversize Cast Stone Columns
Oversize cast stone columns are the focal point of this structure. The columns have height of all four floors of the building. Each column has diameter of five to six feet.
AAS team developed custom molds using detailed CAD drawings. The molds were precisely cut using CNC machining capabilities. The process used not only the AAS technology, but also the design craftsmanship of the project team members.
Computerized batch plant provided consistency in color and the structural properties of the manufactured stone.
Architectural Stone at Higher Elevation
Architectural stone cladding design for SMU Simmons Hall has manufactured stone at higher elevation as well.
AAS project team is able to work closely with customers for value engineering where GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) can be effectively used for applications like this. AAS is able to match the color and finish while combining wet-cast stone, dry-cast stone and also GFRC stone.
Detailed Engineering, Precise Manufacturing, Construction Support, Project Coordination
The side entry columns required detailed engineering and production planning. These columns were inset into a radius wall, meaning that the columns were not symmetrical—a unique design and manufacturing challenge. Each piece required custom curvature on the inside and tapered cylindrical shaping on the outside.
The cylindrical base of the columns and the pieces attached from both sides have a custom shape that allowed the cast stone pieces to be installed in place, without carving or retrofitting.
AAS provided a detailed layout or setting plan that showed how all the pieces joined together for the construction.
The manufacturing and delivery schedule planned delivery releases in sync with onsite construction milestones. AAS has a very well thought out system of labeling every pallet; that simplifies the installation of the cast stone pieces.
Troubleshooting, Conforming to As Built Conditions
The entry porticoes had assemblies that tied into the cornice on the main building. Because the structural steel was slightly off, the transition cornice on the portico didn’t align properly with the main building cornice.
The AAS project manager worked closely with the mason and developed full scale templates. The project team then coordinated this with the CAD department and the form shop to ensure the pieces were made according to onsite field conditions.
The improvised cast stone piece was designed and manufactured with four days of turn around.