With 137,000 square feet of mixed-use retail and teaching space, College Avenue Commons is the new home of Arizona State University’s (ASU) Del E. Webb School of Construction, the Western OSHA Education Center, and the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. This cutting edge building is a monument to the construction industry and a teaching laboratory designed and built by the school’s alumni.

Decorative concrete replaced the section of road in front of the building and throughout the building’s hardscape area. Pedestrian shading is provided by long cantilevered floor plates made with cast-in-place post-tensioned concrete. An architectural feature of the building, the exterior staircase with cast-in-place concrete stairs, serves as a grand alternative to a dull elevator.

Inside, the floors feature exposed concrete finishes obtained by performing a deep grind (up to ¼ inch to expose larger sections of aggregate) and polishing operation directly on the structural concrete floors. The large open spaces inside are designed to encourage students to congregate and collaborate. Most spaces feature exposed structural members and building systems so students can see the inner workings of the buildings. The open spaces created challenges for the structural design team which were solved using post-tensioned flat slab construction and large post-tensioned transfer girders.

The building includes a new state-of-the-art BIM lab, a separate computer lab, and classrooms designed and dedicated to specific course subjects, including a new hands-on concrete classroom.

College Avenue Commons was designed and delivered using the CM at Risk (CMAR) model. The design team and CMAR co-located for most of the project and used paperless document reviews to eliminate waste and decrease time. ASU’s Construction Management students, faculty, and alumni will begin using the new LEED-certified building this fall.