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Requests for Information

Students may submit Requests For Information (RFI) to obtain clarifications or resolve any ambiguities. RFIs and the answers from the competition committee will be posted as they are received.

Student teams, who directly contact the owner and/or occupants of the building, will be disqualified from the competition.

Submit your RFIs via email to [email protected].

 

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1.    We know that there is a significant grade change on the site. Can we have access to the site plans? If not, are we expected to make assumptions that we believe to be reasonable? 
The AEI ISDC Committee is working with the design team to see if we can acquire a site plan. Details to follow.
 
2.    Can we have access to the campus utilities information? 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.
 
3.    Can we get clarification on the demolition? Are we to assume that the entire 1970's section of the building is already knocked down, and we are starting with new construction with the hall being shut down to the community? Or are we to do the construction in phases to keep the building open to the community through the construction process? Also, are we assuming that we are getting rid of the entire 1970's part of the building, including the facade and foundations? If the facade is to be kept, can we have access to existing wall details and wall sections? 
Demolition should not be assumed. This competition is focused on a renovation to the existing 1920s and 1970s buildings. Make reasonable assumptions on what is there (existing) and what (if anything) needs to be demolished for your new design and clearly document and justify your decisions and their impacts.
 
4.    What area can be used as the construction site, considering the building and site footprint? 
As shown in the images during the webinar, the site around War Memorial Hall is congested. As such, the footprint of the 1920s and 1970s buildings and any connection between those two buildings should be considered the site and any additions should be within that footprint.

5.    Are drawings available for the original 1924 building and the 1972 addition?  Is there a site plan available that includes both the original structure and the proposed addition?  In reference to MRA310‐312, are there photos or other relevant information available for the areas of concern or in need of rebuild?  There is a pedestrian bridge shown on A0311. Is there any information regarding what this bridge attaches to?
The drawings and model provided as part of the competition are the only available documentation.  Teams should make reasonable assumptions and provided adequate research and back‐up to substantiate any assumptions.

6.    Does Virginia Tech have any campus design standards as the client that they use for all of their buildings? Relating to but not limited to façade materials, lighting requirements, acoustic levels, mechanical units (such as a central campus power plant for steam distribution, etc.).
Student teams should reference: https://www.facilities.vt.edu/planning‐construction/principles‐andstandards/construction‐standards.html.

Student teams should not contact the design team or Virginia Tech for information.


7.    Is the 1924 building on the historic landmark registry?
Student teams should do online research to determine any historical significance.

8.    How is the 1972 addition structurally attached to the historic 1924 structure? Or are they completely separate and only attached through façade enclosure?
Student teams should use the documentation provided and make reasonable assumptions and provided adequate research and back‐up to substantiate any assumptions.

9.    Do we have any detailed documents of the existing structural, electrical, and mechanical components for both 1972 and 1924 construction?
As the purpose of the competition is to design the building systems, no information will be provided.

10.    Will we be reusing the existing electrical equipment in the building or treating this as a complete gut of equipment and new panels can and should be installed?
The purpose of the competition is to design the building systems.

11.    Where does the existing power service come from?
Student teams should use the documentation provided and make reasonable assumptions and provided adequate research and back‐up to substantiate any assumptions.

12.    Who is the internet service provider for the building? Where does that feed into the building?
Student teams can research and select an internet service provider if this information is deemed critical to the design. Student teams should use the documentation provided and make reasonable assumptions and provided adequate research and back‐up to substantiate any assumptions.

13.    For challenge #1 – does the relocation of 50% of program need to remain in the 1924 portion of the building or can we move it into the 1972? Are new construction additions allowed by the client for relocation of this space as another alternative?
It does not need to remain in the 1924 portion of the building. The competition addendum addresses the second question.

14.   For challenge #1 – Does any of the programming within the 1972 structure need to be relocated?
Not according to the competition addendum.

15.    For challenge #2 ‐ Is the current energy performance of the building known to have a consistent existing condition for all teams to achieve the improved energy performance by 30%?
The current energy performance is not known. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provided adequate research and back‐up to substantiate any assumptions.

16.    Some room names are not specified in the architectural drawings – please elaborate on these room usages. 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. The webinar with the design team provided some discussion of space utilization.

17.    Is any part of the site included within our scope? If so, please provide light pole locations and utility transformer locations. 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

18.    Does Virginia Tech have any building standards for the campus that we should be aware of? 
Please see previous RFI that addresses this question.

19.    Is the structural scope of the project focused on a renovation (new loading, new holes in floors, lots of analysis, etc.) or are we expected to pretend like the existing structure is not in place and to design a new system for the entire building (foundations and superstructure)? 
This competition is focused on a renovation to the existing 1920s and 1970s buildings.

20.    Is there district utilities provided by a central mechanical plant for the university? If so, do these buildings have these utilities already to the building?  Is the central mechanical plant sized for further expansions? 
Virginia Tech does have campus utilities. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

21.    Is the building two separate mechanical and plumbing systems between the 1924 building and the 1976 addition? 
Given that the buildings were built 52 years apart, it would be safe to assume the systems are separate; however, student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

22.    What is the current window information? 
Window location and dimensions can be found in the provided documentation. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. 

23.    What is the wall makeup in both parts of the building? Material and dimensions. 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. The webinar with the design team provided some discussion of space utilization.

24.    Is the current mechanical equipment located on the roof or in the building interior? 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. 

25.    What are the current mechanical systems in both portions of the building? 
As the purpose of the competition is to design the building systems, this information will not be provided. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. 

26.    Current fire protection in both buildings? 
As the purpose of the competition is to design the building systems, this information will not be provided. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. 

27.    How/when will we be provided with the following existing electrical/lighting system information: 
i.    Lighting cutsheets of the existing fixtures 
ii.    Generator cutsheets and locations 
iii.    Existing electrical and lighting plans  
iv.    Existing riser diagrams 
As the purpose of the competition is to design the building systems, this information will not be provided. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions. 

28.    Do we need to address the "Construction" aspects to the challenge if we are not entered in the construction category for the AEI competition?
As construction is part of architectural engineering, some discussion should be included; however, it is at the student team’s discretion as to the level of detail. Because the challenges are budgeted as alternates, a budget should be provided.

29.    
Would reconfiguring some of the designated 2-story spaces into two separate floors be technically considered an add-on of square-footage for the overall project and therefore be prohibited from our scope of the design? 
More detailed information is required to address this question. In the student team’s overall construction estimate, those with additional square footage should make the pitch that the addition budget (if any is actually required) is well justified. For instance, it could be that a second-floor solution may actually save significant budget elsewhere making the additional square footage essentially free.

30.    
Can a high-quality PDF be provided of the drawings from the AEI Student Design Competition Webinar? 
See Addendum 2020-02 for additional information.
 
31.   
Have there been any architectural modifications or renovations to either of the buildings since their initial constructions? For example, we may assume that the 1924 building was constructed with no insulation in the walls, however if insulation was added at a later date, this would affect our design.  
See Addendum 2020-02 for additional information.
 
32.   
Are the current windows on the 1924 War Memorial Hall original to the building? Are these currently operable? Are the windows on the rest of the building both original and operable? 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.
 

33.   Can reprogramming efforts be moved to the roof north of the classroom/office block on level 3? Is this space a part of the "unassigned" square footage that was talked about in the webinar? 
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.
 
34.   
In order to make reasonable decisions that address challenge #1, more information about the floor systems is needed to make assumptions about their capacity to support reprogrammed uses. Can any information about materiality of existing floor systems be provided? 
See Addendum 2020-02 for additional information. Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

35.  Can we get a flow test for the hydrants near the War Memorial Hall project?
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

36. What is the utility voltage to the building?
Student teams should make reasonable assumptions and provide adequate research and back-up to substantiate any assumptions.

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