Central Texas Regional Blood and Tissue Center

Austin, Texas

This project consisted of the structural, mechanical, and electrical design of a 17,000 square foot, two-story addition to the existing Central Texas Regional Blood and Tissue Center.  The project also included ADA upgrades and an elevator addition.

Since one of the major functions of the facility is to extract and ship human organs under intense time constraints, the cleanroom HVAC system had to be designed to meet the demand and quality control of the organ extractions.  The floor to ceiling height was limited due to architectural constraints, posing extensive challenges to locate and distribute the HVAC system.  This was especially significant in the Tissue Center, where the HVAC system required very specialized components.

The Blood & Tissue Center involved special challenges related to the design and intended use of the facility.  For example, the new upper story addition was designed to physically encompass the existing building. The structural system utilized was conventional steel framing with steel bar-joists, a metal deck, and concrete floors. The structural design also incorporated a curved steel beam entry area.  In addition, the soils at the site were highly plastic, therefore a stiffened foundation system with belled piers was selected. Due to tight space planning restrictions, diagonal wind bracing could not be employed at all necessary locations, so moment frames were utilized in some instances.

The building was designed with energy efficiency in mind.  Low energy ballasts were utilized for all the fluorescent lighting.  The project has been a great success as the building has become a landmark for many blood donors.

Encotech was the Engineer of Record for this project and was responsible for the structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design including clean-room design.