Some Assembly Required: UPMC’S Transplant and Therapy Center

Feb 12, 2021

by Kinsley,

IMG_0137From Model Ts to immune T cells – this former Ford assembly plant in Bloomfield, Pennsylvania is being transformed into a new Immune Transplant and Therapy Center. The University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and Wexford Science + Technology have partnered to create the center, which will develop and test new immunotherapy drugs for cancer, autoimmunity, transplantation, aging and chronic disease.

Originally built in the early 1900s, the eight-story, 205,000-square-foot, cast-in-place building didn’t come with any existing drawings. Our Steel crew had to complete field measurements to create drawings, which isn’t typically a part of our everyday operations. We were uncertain of the building’s original engineering and current state of the existing steel until demolition was complete. Luckily, the steel was in fairly good shape and didn’t require much additional strengthening or plating for the renovation.

Though the building was in decent shape, our challenges didn’t end there. Because our work was being completed within an existing space with surrounding neighbors, there was little to no area to lay down materials. Our crew had to create a detailed delivery sequence and schedule, ensuring that only the materials required that day were on site and could be stored within the building when possible.

We fabricated and erected 310 tons of steel for the renovated space which included a new roof top dunnage, a two-level mezzanine and three new brace frame shafts from the basement to the roof. The project also included an addition with the construction of a 150,000-square-foot laboratory tower and a 325-car parking garage, which required 850 tons of steel. Full renovations and construction of the expansion is set to complete by fall 2021.