AWCI's Excellence in Construction Quality Awards 2014

Winner (tie): Perot Museum of Nature and Science

June 2014

Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Dallas, Texas

Building Information Modeling played a large role in the $92 million, 180,000 square-foot Perot Museum of Nature and Science, which required 750,000 square feet of drywall and framing across five levels and 27,000 square feet of exterior framing. The building was conceived as a large cube floating over a landscaped plinth and is designed to inspire awareness of science through an immersive and interactive environment that actively engages visitors.
    
With Triangle Plastering, Ltd., Baker Drywall, Ltd. began working with contactor Balfour Beatty and Architect Morphosis relatively early in the design process as estimating and bid development were initiated. For 14 months, from conceptual estimating to the final bid, Baker Drywall had to re-price the project six times after the initial bid.
    
Morphosis provided an initial design featuring a ceiling surface that was 76 percent open, but they did not specify the material or the construction process. The surface needed to be smooth, not segmented. The ceiling extends past the glass curtain walls enclosing the lobby to the roof overhang outside the building. The Baker Drywall team decided a 1-inch by 1-inch grid in 2-foot-square panels would offer the ease to manipulate and form the rolling terrain of the ceiling. In most cases, all four corners of each ceiling panel were at a different elevation. Morphosis wanted the panel connections and suspension system to be virtually undetectable given the open grid of the ceiling panels—challenging additional details. With their creativity and unique approaches, Baker Drywall fit the museum’s lobby with 40,800 square feet of wire ceiling, 10,200 panels and 12,000 clips and hanger rods. An additional 2,000 square feet of level wire ceiling occurs in circulation areas on other floors.
    
In the museum, the Hoglund Foundation Theater is a multimedia facility that seats 298. The design concept featured fabric-covered, constructed “ribbons” with compound curves. The ribbons are delineated by LED lighting tucked into light coves, and flow from the horizontal ceiling surface onto the vertical walls. Construction of the theater using the Baker Drywall technique was so unusual that Balfour Beatty set up a time-lapse camera in the theater to capture the transformation of the space.
    
The museum required 750,000 square feet of drywall and framing across the five levels and 27,000 square feet of exterior framing. Many of the walls have one or two sheets of 3/4-inch plywood installed behind the drywall to provide stability and strength for mounting display hardware.

Baker Drywall also worked with the electrical contractor to integrate the light fixtures into the museum’s many large, deep, freeform skylights. They framed the curves and outlines of each skylight, one of which was to house a 150-foot long light tube. In the end, Baker Drywall fabricated the 23 fiberglass light pods (“meteorites”) that hang from the lobby ceiling.
    
You can use this URL—http://tinyurl.com/nz3h5hf—to see time-lapse video of the construction of this award-winning building, and learn more about this job by revisiting the May 2012 issue of this magazine (also available online at www.awci.org/cd). Visit www.bakertriangle.com to see more of the work done by
BakerTriangle.
    
Go to www.awci.org/awards.to see videos of all of AWCI’s 2014 award winners.

Contractor
Baker Drywall, Ltd. and Triangle Plastering, Ltd.

Manufacturers
Baker Drywall, Ltd.;
BASF Corporation – Wall Systems; Georgia-Pacific Gypsum; California Expanded Metal Products (CEMCO); Parex and USG

Supplier
Builders Gypsum/div of Allied Building Products Corp.