Arup Tapped by Sasaki Associates for Engineering Expertise in Design of New Dudley Square Municipal Facility

Revitalization part of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Dudley Square Vision Project

May 22, 2013, 12:42 ET from Arup

BOSTON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, announced today that is providing engineering services for the new Dudley Square Municipal Facility. Arup was engaged by Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Mass. to provide structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing (S/MEP) and information technology (IT) engineering services for the new Dudley Square Municipal Facility located in the Dudley Station National Register Historic District in Roxbury, Mass. The team of Sasaki Associates and Mecanoo Architecten was selected to design the new 215,000 SF municipal office building that will become the headquarters of the Boston Public School system and house more than 500 employees. The new facility is part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Dudley Square Vision Initiative, which seeks to revitalize the once-thriving urban neighborhood.

As part of the project's mission to provide a catalyst for development in the area, the structure will preserve and incorporate the iconic Ferdinand Furniture building, an emblem of the square's historic commercial vitality. The design also incorporates the historic Curtis and Waterman buildings, and unites their facades with new construction. The restored Ferdinand, Curtis, and Waterman buildings will maintain the existing feel and scale of Dudley Square, and the new building will add a powerful modern aesthetic. The resulting design by architects Sasaki and collaborating architecture firm Mecanoo incorporates the historic façades with an entirely new masonry and glass structure. To support the achievement of the architects' design, Arup composed a complex structure that enabled the weaving together of new and existing facades. Arup devised load transferring elements that fulfill the architects' vision of a column-free lobby and generous staircase. Five floors of weight above the lobby are conveyed to the perimeter with more than 30 tons of steel beams.

"The centerpiece of our revitalization efforts in Dudley will be the creation of Boston's next great public building, here in the heart of the square," Mayor Menino said.

The Green Communities Act, enacted in 2008, requires new projects in Massachusetts to exceed the base energy code by at least 20 per cent. To achieve these goals, Arup increased the new façade's envelope performance to offset deficits of the historic facades. Working closely with the architects, Arup tested numerous energy models to create the most energy-efficient design. The active chilled beam system chosen requires smaller ductwork that fits the lower ceiling heights of the historic sections, and allows Arup to optimize coordination across multiple floors with varying ceiling heights.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to engage with the local community and make a substantial contribution to the recovery of the square," says Sasaki principal-in-charge S. Fiske Crowell, Jr., FAIA. "With the involvement of the community and leadership of the city, we look forward to helping to restore Dudley Square to a place of prominence as a commercial, cultural, and social focal point of Boston."

The Dudley Square Municipal Facility is currently targeting LEED Silver certification.

In addition to Arup, the project team includes the planning and design firm Sasaki Associates in collaboration with Netherlands-based design firm Mecanoo Architecten, construction manager Shawmut Design and Construction, and historic preservation consultants Building Conservation Associates, Inc.

About Arup
Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world's most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Its engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its first US office 25 years ago, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values that fosters a distinctive culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their clients. (

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