The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, October 02, 2015

Steel's up at FRIB's office tower

By The Building Tradesman

EAST LANSING - With a price tag of $730 million, there's bound to be a few construction milestones associated with the FRIB- the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams going up at Michigan State University.

The latest was marked on Sept. 3, with the topping out of the structural steel of the six-story office building on the north side of the FRIB. A 15-man Iron Workers Local 25 crew completed the structural work in a brisk 28-day schedule. 

"A very good job, very fast, very safe, with no injures," said Bristol Steel General Foreman Dan Foco. "It was a nice and smooth job, and the guys did great work." The office tower is set to house both permanent FRIB staff and visiting researchers.

Barton Malow is acting as construction manager on the project, which began in March 2014. The FRIB is slated to go online in 2022. "Barton Malow and Michigan State people have been great to work with," Foco said.

Douglas Steel, together with Local 25 members, placed structural steel for the FRIB's massive linear accelerator tunnel lid, which was completed in June at the same site. The 35-foot-deep tunnel is 570 feet long, 70 feet wide and 13 feet high. The tunnel's reinforced concrete walls, ceilings and floors are up to four-and-a-half feet thick, and areas that will shield workers in the tunnel will be up to 16 feet thick.

The entire project will use about 2,800 tons of structural steel.

According to MSU, The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will be a new scientific user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science, Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on campus and operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.

THE LOCAL 25/Bristol Steel gang that raised the last section of structural iron at the FRIB office building.