Metropolitan State University of Denver Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD) has one of the largest and most sophisticated aviation and science programs in the country. Because Colorado has one of the highest employment rates for aviation and aerospace in the country, MSUD decided to build the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences (AES) building on the school’s downtown Denver campus.

Olsson contributed to the state-of-the-art learning center for MSUD students as part of a larger collaborative team of architects, planners, and engineers.

The team faced multiple challenges on a land-locked, student-filled campus. The area for the AES building had a relatively shallow groundwater table. In addition, the project site had been used for industrial purposes since the mid-1800s and remnants of these industrial sites and demolished row houses created substantial subsurface rubble. As a result, the potential for environmental contaminants in the soil and groundwater was high. We provided an overall environmental monitoring plan that had a Phase II and III environmental assessments that included installing monitoring wells, soil and groundwater sampling, and performing a health risk assessment for the campus. We worked with our client, contractors, and environmental agencies to keep the project moving.

We also provided an overall geotechnical site investigation that included multiple deep borings for the site and future expansion of the campus, seismic evaluation of the site, recommendations for earthwork and soil improvements, foundation design, a retained and buried structures assessment, and surface water and groundwater studies. Olsson worked with the design team to design a shallow foundation system that provided a cost saving solution to the university. 

During construction, we provided construction observation for soil, concrete, steel, and other structural components as needed to ensure that the foundation for the building was sound. Olsson also provided environmental oversight and monitoring during the excavation of the underground segments of the construction.

The new facility integrates aerospace science and aviation technology; industrial design; civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering technology; and computer science and computer information systems, providing students with a dynamic and collaborative learning space.

Braden Hirsch
Senior Team Leader
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