Rice University asked Thiel Design Group (formerly CH+P) in partnership with Ellen Zweig Architects (EZ) to renovate the first floor of an existing building a new Biology Teaching lab for the undergraduate population at that prestigious university. EZ was the lab planners and prime architect, but we performed all of the exterior envelope improvements, existing conditions survey and documentation as well as the on-site Construction Administration services. This partnership leveraged EZ’s lab planning knowledge with our renovation experience, familiarity with the university, and local presence.
The project renovated an existing 1956 building to house a state-of-the-art teaching biology lab with mixed mobile and flexible casework, overhead services, and a new HVAC system to match the updated equipment and utilization. An exposed ceiling and overhead services provided additional visual volume to a formerly compressed interior space. Construction was underway when Hurricane Harvey moved through Houston and exposed an unknown underslab subsidence problem that was ameliorated by quick work from our design team, structural consultant, owner, and contractor.
Our commitment to client satisfaction was at the forefront of our minds as we navigated a difficult situation that no one could have foreseen. As a result of quick work by all parties, there was no impact on the project’s 12-week summertime construction schedule.