Facility Profile - July 2013
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Something for Everyone

Harold Alfond Forum at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine

By Jim Ladesich

Sasaki designed the project using the latest Revit building information modeling (BIM) system by AutoDesk. With the project completed, the database of "as-built" drawing information can be used as a 3-D tool for future facilities management.

"BIM was a valuable tool in redesigning the structure to appropriate bay sizes and column spacing that avoided physical conflicts," Massey added. "BIM gave us the ability to quickly visualize solutions and reconcile them in an efficient way and to expedite the cross-reference of trade information."

"Although we don't have 3-D capabilities now, we're moving in that direction," said Greg Hogan, UNE's facilities manager who worked with the project team once the construction was underway. "FM groups are generally not used to looking at drawings and having a 3-D model gives added understanding of what's in the building. It will be a lot better than using 2-D mechanical and electrical documents."

To vary the roof elevations and most efficiently accommodate cut and fill requirements, the design recesses the ice rink wing to eight feet below grade. Because spectators walk down into the rink, the Hussey seating is top-loaded and sized for 900 spectators.

In addition to basketball, the fieldhouse located on the other side of the connector supports other sports, intramurals and performances. The floor area is a combination of the Connor Resichannel wood court and the manufacturer's Elastiplus synthetic system on the adjacent space that is separated by a curtain. The wood court will subdivide into two cross courts with two additional basketball courts and areas for badminton, volleyball or other activities on the synthetic floor area. Hussey also supplied the fixed seating for 1,200 spectators in the arena that will accept removables to create a total of 3,000 seats for performances and other special events.

The two-level connector is a conventional steel-framed element with the main entrance into the facility. It has a spacious ticket lobby with great views into the rink and fieldhouse, a 90-seat cafeteria with a commercial kitchen, and large mechanical room. The cafeteria was designed as a destination point and sized to serve the evolving student housing. There are custom millwork lockers built into each of the men's and women's locker rooms and a visitor locker room. UNE also included a Strength and Conditioning Center with 15 equipment stations that absorb two-thirds of the floor space with one-third devoted to free weights.

The upper level has 15 coaches' and 14 academic offices, two dual-use conference rooms divided by a folding door that opens to create a single large meeting area with views of the rink and basketball/performance court. The classrooms include custom-designed teaching and laboratory space for UNE's Athletic Sports Training and Applied Exercise Science academic programs.

In keeping with opportunities to incorporate green features into buildings, the roof and walls have cool-rated color finishes.

Sports and recreation play an important role at this New England institution that now has a showcase environment in which to support a broad range of athletic activities.

Butler Manufacturing: www.butlermfg.com
Sasaki Associates: www.sasaki.com
University of New England: www.une.edu