Highline College Health and Life Sciences Building


This existing three-story classroom building was originally constructed in 1974 and housed classrooms, workshops, and offices. The 31,000 SF renovation of the building converted much of the existing building to classrooms and labs serving the college's health and life sciences programs. The 13,000 SF addition provides new classrooms, offices, and study spaces. The existing building was a masonry and concrete building with concrete floors supported by Hambro steel joists. Because the existing building had few window openings, many new openings were added to the structural walls to maximize opportunities for daylighting. Seismic upgrades included the addition of concrete shear walls and the improvement of other lateral elements. The structural upgrades utilized FRP wrap at discontinuous columns, FRP collectors, steel collectors, steel braces, and concrete shear walls.

The PCS team conquered many challenges during the process of improving the lateral system, including the need to stack lateral systems through three very different floor layouts, creation of new large floor openings, introduction of large wall openings within existing shear walls, and new additions which added mass but did not allow for new shear walls. A complex lateral analysis was required to improve the lateral system and prevent existing lateral systems from being overloaded.

The new design provides an open, welcoming environment that supports collaboration among students from the college's Health, Wellness, and Life Science programs. As a hub to the west side of campus, the renovation also creates a clear identity and improved accessibility for students to navigate through and around the building. The renovated building creates an integrated and flexible learning environment to educate the healthcare workforce of the future.
Photo credit: Walker Photography