After numerous Architectural & Engineering teams sent in bids for the project, a selection process (organized and led by the State of Wisconsin Division of Facility Design) occurred to identify the best firm for the job. Of several highly qualified A&E firms submitting proposals, Potter Lawson (Madison, WI) received the winning bid.
In February, the Request for Architectural & Engineering Design Services (“Bid Documents”) were released by the State of Wisconsin Division of Facility Design (DFD) for the design and construction of a state-of-the-art, world-class meat science laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The
To begin preparing to work with the Architectural & Engineering design firm in 2014, a small group of people from the University of Wisconsin-Madison traveled across the state of Wisconsin visiting several plants (Ski’s Meats, Steven’s Point; Custom Meats of Marathon, Marathon City; Country Fresh Meats, Weston; Nueske’s Meats, Wittenberg; Maplewood Meats, Green Bay; and Haen Meats, Kaukauna) to beginning thinking about the opportunities and challenges the new meat laboratory project would present while familiarizing the group with meat processing facilities.
During August of 2012, it was announced 22.8 million would be included in the 2013-2015 State of Wisconsin budget for the construction of a 42.8 million meat science laboratory.
A coordinated effort began to identify partners for the new meat science facility. A project document called “A Cut Above” and a project video called “Building for the Future” were developed to embark on the campaigning effort.
With tremendous help from the University of Wisconsin Meat Science Advisory Committee and the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a grassroots campaign was started to provide world-class, program changing meat science facilities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The plan would be to 1) secure State of Wisconsin funding for over 50% of the project through approval in a state biennial budget, 2) get approval to construct by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin System by ranking at the top of “new facility” projects, and 3) secure non-state/federal private matching dollars ($20 million) to provide the remaining necessary funding for the $42.8 million project cost.
After the initial program verification and establishing a design concept, the Architecture & Engineering firm, Potter Lawson, and the rest of the Design Team has been working hard to develop design drawings (as well as other related documents required for the design process and the project) through the “35% Design Phase.” In this stage of the process, the design team are to determine building logistics to optimize the flow and productivity for all facets of the meat science lab. From establishing “right-sized” room and hallway dimensions to ensuring food safety elements, such as proper process flow and facility design to comply with USDA federal inspection standards—the A&E team has left no stone unturned. Although there is a lot of work to be done, these drafts mark the progress made since the design phase began in October 2014…which have all built upon themselves since the process started.
Bringing the project within budget allowed for the 35% design phase to begin. As such, room sketches was slowly and methodically transitioned into design drawings while entire floor schematic drawings began to take hold. In addition, more discussion on building layout occurred as several layout options were presented to the group and one was eventually selected to for the design process.
After nearly 6 weeks of meetings, intense discussions, and cost reductions (via square footage reductions, equipment reductions or other areas of cost reduction), the Design team successfully brought the project back within budget. This was a monumental point in the project as we could now officially begin the “design”.
After the results from the cost estimation process, we were made aware the project was a whopping 19% over budget. This marked the beginning of a laborious and at times very difficult process of reducing the budget to result in a facility the budget could afford.