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Center for Computing & Data Sciences

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Rising 305 feet above Boston University, the Center for Computing & Data Sciences is not just a building, it's a structural engineering marvel. This dynamic vertical campus, showcasing collaboration and innovation, boasts a unique design and construction process that pushes boundaries and achieves remarkable results.

Key highlights:

  • “Floating” on clay: The project saved $5 million compared to a deep foundation extending 200 feet to grade by employing a mat foundation. Floating the building by limiting building weight to the weight of the soil removed made this possible. With its exceptional 11:1 height-to-width ratio, the optimized concrete core made this solution feasible.
  • Climate resilience: The design flood elevation is set one foot above the projected 500-year flood level (five feet above BPDA design), requiring the light 5-story podium to be secured by 40-ton tension mini-piles beneath the podium.
  • Cantilevered beauty: Striking facade and offset, free-floating volumes characterize the architectural massing. Each block projects off a central core, creating a dynamic interplay of forms and breathtaking views and allows for outdoor green roof terraces throughout the building height.
  • Steel truss symphony: Exposed trusses, spanning the building's length, support cantilevered volumes and seamlessly integrate into the architectural language. Their careful placement directs gravity loads toward the core.
  • Shoring masterpiece: A collaborative Design Assist approach employed full-height shoring to enable steel erection and concrete placement. Gradual load transfer from shoring to the building with hydraulic jacks minimized dynamic impacts and allowed for shoring removal.
  • Sustainability champion: An early focus on embodied carbon reduction led to using concrete with up to 70% portland cement replacement, a first in Boston. This and other design modifications achieved a 13% total embodied carbon reduction for the structure, saving over 2,000 tons of CO2e.

The Center for Computing & Data Sciences is a testament to innovative structural engineering, environmental consciousness, and collaborative spirit. Its story is an inspiration for future sustainable and resilient buildings worldwide.

Project Details






Boston Univeristy