UW Chemistry Building

UW-Madison Chemistry Building

UW-Madison had a need to expand its chemistry department, as the current building, originally built in the 1960s, was a bottleneck for students finishing their undergraduate prerequisites. The $133 million project consists of two phases: the renovation of the existing Daniels building and the construction of a nine-story addition.

The new tower has several interesting characteristics, including the installation of a flat-plate voided concrete slab system. The system allows for thinner floor structures that ultimately enabled the project to install an additional story. The voided slab system is approximately half as thick as a steel floor system and is significant to the project because Madison has height limits on downtown structures. The concrete voided slab system also provides high rigidity to satisfy the strict vibration requirements for sensitive laboratory equipment, as well as reducing the building weight allowing for large transfer trusses and composite beam framing to provide large clear spaces for lower-level auditoriums.

Project challenges, such as an adjacent historic structure, noise and shadow concerns, as well as bike storage and landscape planning on a tight campus site, were also successfully navigated.

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Project Data

$133 Million Project Cost

9 Stories

245,840 Total Square Feet

209,504-Square-Foot Tower


GRAEF Services

Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Landscape Architecture
Environmental Impact Assessment

UW-Madison Chemistry Building Contact

Groth Fred Cropped

Fred Groth

Market Area Leader - DFD