*Photos courtesy of Chris Lark + Kevin Marshall
Like many coal-fired power plants, Shaw Lane Power Plant was decommissioned, but instead of being demolished, it is repurposed as Michigan State University STEM Teaching, Learning + Interdisciplinary Research Facility. As part of the project, the structure underwent a renovation + addition. The existing floor system was replaced with mass timber, supported by the existing steel structure. The two additions, constructed with exposed mass timber, stem off of the north + south sides of the existing structure. Mass timber was chosen because it was cost-neutral + a unique aesthetic. It’s the first time MSU has used this material on campus, and was the largest mass timber structure of its kind in the state.
The four-story facility houses laboratories, offices + collaboration spaces for students taking biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, physics + engineering classes.
As the specialty engineer, Schaefer collaborated with Nordic to design and supply all connections including all gravity + lateral connections. We bridged between the steel + wood suppliers so that all pieces fit together seamlessly, including for wood-to-wood, wood-to-steel and steel-to-steel connections.