Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo

Amherst, New York

In 2012, the State University Construction Fund initiated a project to rehabilitate the exterior envelope of the Center for the Arts on the main campus of the University at Buffalo. The proposed project included replacement of the center skylight, exterior stair and roof systems and repair of the masonry and metal panel façade systems. As part of the project team, Vertical Access performed the discovery phase investigation and documentation of conditions.

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Building description

The Center for the Arts was designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects with architect of record Scaffidi and Moore Architects. Constructed in 1993, the building houses performing arts spaces, studios, classrooms and offices. A skylight that runs north-south creates a two-story atrium that is used as a lobby area for the theaters and a space for special events. To the south of the building, a concrete plaza connects the main entrance of Center for the Arts with Slee Hall to the west and Alumni Arena to the east.

Challenges

  • Gain hands-on access to vast expanses of building wall areas.
  • Assist the design team with understanding the causes of deterioration and failures observed in the building envelope.

Solutions

  • Used industrial rope access and aerial platforms to access the building envelope.
  • Investigated plaza deck drains using a fiber optic camera and provided the documentation on DVD.
  • Used borescopes to investigate subsurface conditions at masonry walls.

Building owner

  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

In collaboration with

  • State University Construction Fund
  • DiDonato Associates
  • Chicago Window Expert