Rising Like a Phoenix02.13.2012 | Research, Engineering, Science, Energy and Environment
Warmer winter weather in southwest Ohio has sped up construction of the GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Research and Development Center (EPISCENTER).
"The weather has helped, as evidenced by the speed in which we constructed the building's steel frame," said David Schmidt, University of Dayton director of construction management.
Most of the work to date has been underground, according to Schmidt, but more visible transformations have just been completed or will be in the near future at the corner of Patterson Boulevard and River Park Drive in Dayton.
"Most of the structural precast panels for the laboratory portion of the building were erected last week," Schmidt said. "This had a dramatic impact on the visible progress of the site as the entire lab portion of the building is now easily identifiable."
In the next few months, construction crews will install the roof of the lab and the exterior walls of the office portion, the tall four-story section with a pointed roof.
GE Aviation broke ground on the new center located on the University of Dayton campus in April 2011. The $51 million research-and-development center is expected to be operational in 2013.
"We are very excited to see the progress being made on the construction of the building," said Derek Busboom, EPISCENTER project manager for GE Aviation. "The EPISCENTER will be a catalyst for new contracts and products resulting in job growth not only at the GE EPISCENTER, but for the greater Dayton area businesses as well."
The EPISCENTER will be the University's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED) building. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification provides independent verification a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Much of the construction material is recycled. The adhesives, paints, flooring and wood materials used are classified as "low-emitting materials," or not giving off many pollutants. More than 50 percent of construction waste will be diverted from landfills.
The EPISCENTER will be close to bus lines and a bicycle path to encourage employees to use environmentally friendly alternatives to driving to work.
Landscaping will be water-efficient and the plumbing system is designed to reduce water consumption.
In the EPISCENTER, University researchers will work side by side with GE Aviation scientists and engineers to create new advanced electrical power technologies such as new power systems for aircraft, longer-range electric cars and smarter utility power grids for more efficient delivery of electricity.
The center will give a strong boost to aerospace research and education and offer internships and co-op experiences for University of Dayton students from various disciplines. Ultimately, the University could develop a concentration, minor or major in the high-tech discipline of power generation.