University of Nebraska Medical Center

Architectural Details

The interior height of the Wigton Heritage Center (from 4th floor level to bottom of ceiling) is 46 feet, which is tall enough to fit a 43-foot-tall Brachiosaurus, the tallest dinosaur. (Dinosaur fact!).

There is 6,042 square feet of glass window glazing on the exterior of the Wigton Heritage Center, which is more than two tennis courts combined. The glazing is insulated with a high-performance low-e (low-emissivity) coating to improve thermal control. Due to the high-level of glazing to solid wall ratio, energy modeling was conducted to ensure the project met or exceeded all applicable energy codes.

A perforated drywall panel is used throughout the ceiling and vertical surfaces of the Wigton Heritage Center to absorb sound and reduce reverberation.

The original University Tower façade was brick with terracotta columns and cornice detailing. Prior to being enclosed by the Wigton Heritage Center, the façade was completely cleaned and repainted. Damaged sections were recast and reinstalled. Existing windows were replaced with new fire-rated windows designed to withstand a fire for two hours.

The Wigton Heritage Center is separated from University Tower and Wittson Hall with an expansion joint around all sides of the building. This allows the structure to move independently of the other two buildings for up to two feet of sway.

The white structural steel used throughout the Wigton Heritage Center is coated with a thin layer of fire-protective intumescent fireproof paint. If heat from a fire reaches the coating, the coating will rapidly expand to almost 50 times its thickness to give the steel a protective barrier from the fire. The steel superstructure that encapsulates both University Tower and Wittson Hall uses just over 80 tons of steel.

The Wigton Heritage Center is supported by drilled pier foundations and grade beams. The drilled piers are on average 50 feet in depth, which is just a few feet shorter than the overall exterior height of the building. The grade beams allow the structure to span over the underground tunnels that connect the campus buildings.

William DeRoin
Design Principal