Marr Shores Harvard’s New Science and Engineering Complex

| July 21, 2017

by Katherine Marr

In December 2016, Marr Scaffolding Company’s shoring division began work for JDC Demolition at the site of Harvard’s Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) in Allston, Mass. Located across from Harvard Business School and the Harvard Innovation Labs on Western Avenue, the six-story complex, designed by the Boston office of German architectural firm Behnisch Architekten, will feature classrooms, laboratories, lounge spaces, and 70,000sf of public green space when it opens in the fall of 2020. The SEC will also house close to two-thirds of Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), making it one of the most advanced science and engineering facilities in the world.

Marr Scaffolding Company’s shoring division installed more than 100 shoring towers at Harvard’s new Science and Engineering Complex.

Construction of the new complex was approved by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (formerly the BRA) in April 2016, six years after Harvard halted construction of the complex due to the 2009 financial crisis. With plans to build SEC “2.0” on top of the original site’s foundation, there were challenges to confront early on in this second phase of construction, such as Harvard’s extensive, new design changes and the previously installed steel foundation built to 33 feet underground. Working for general contractor Turner Construction, JDC demolition set out to remove parts of the existing steel framing and concrete slabs to prepare for new construction, including the building of new cores for stairs and elevators and the installation of new steel.

Marr installed shoring towers up to 20 feet high at Harvard’s new Science and Engineering Complex/ photo by Chris Madden


Prior to this work being done, Marr spent over seven months installing more than 100 shoring towers throughout the site designed with multiple layers of steel beams ranging from 50 lbs. to 2,500 lbs. each. Both Shore-X and Hi-Lite shoring systems were utilized, with towers reaching up to 30 feet high and supporting loads between 30 Kips and 400 Kips. The towers were designed in-house and engineer-reviewed and stamped to accommodate load capacity requirements while allowing room for the removal of old columns and new permanent steel connections. Marr Scaffolding’s power division provided two lulls and a scissor lift for the duration of the project, while Marr Crane & Rigging supplied a 300-ton crane to transfer equipment in and out of the site.

Working in stages, Marr crews dismantled the shoring towers as permanent steel installations were completed in various site locations. The final dismantle is slated for early August.



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