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University of Michigan G.G. Brown Addition

The project consists of a new addition along the north side of the G. G. Brown building, three stories above grade with one level below.  Plan dimensions of the proposed addition are approximately 120 feet north/south by approximately 260 feet east/west below grade and 190 feet east/west above grade.  Level One, below grade, is principally laboratory space with supplemental offices.  The laboratory spaces at this level include Ultra Low Vibration spaces.  Level Two and Level Three will be additional laboratories and support offices.  Level Four will be a partial floor, approximately 75 feet by 180 feet and will house equipment in a mechanical penthouse.  Currently, it is envisioned that the building structure will consist of a cast-in-place concrete structure to provide flexibility of spaces with minimal vibrations.

Level One will include a state-of-the-art ultra low vibration (ULV) facility to support high level research activities.  The designated lab space will be designed to support equipment capable of realizing ultra-high resolution measurements at the molecular and atomic levels to support a variety of research activities.  To that end, the geotechnical engineering investigation and services must include assessments of the in-situ soils and the effects of transient vibrations on those soils.  The support structures for the test equipment at Level One must meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) vibration criteria standard NIST-A.  It is expected that support for sensitive equipment and test chambers will be provided by using structurally isolated inertia mass foundations.

Somat is performing conventional geotechnical services as well as vibration analysis for the NIST-A site to determine the static and dynamic soil properties.  The conventional geotechnical investigation will consist of seven soil borings and will provide recommendations for the building foundation design.  The vibration investigation consists of performing a cross-hole test at the ground surface and two locations below grade.  A study of the ambient vibration levels at the site will also be conducted using a geophone.  This testing will result in the determination of seismic site class in accordance with MBC 2006, recommendations on isolation of new inertia mass foundations for the NIST-A area and will include any potential soil removal and replacement work to improve the vibration response characteristics of the subsurface soils in the vicinity of the ultra low vibration laboratories.


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