University of Minnesota NOvA Far Detector

The NOvA Far Detector Facility is a new international physics laboratory, and the site of an upcoming experiment that will help scientists understand the origins of the universe. The experiment, which begins collecting data in 2013, involves the study of neutrinos, subatomic particles that are among the fundamental building blocks of matter.

The construction of the detector facility involved many unique logistical challenges related to the remote project site and the huge, very specialized equipment required for the experiment. The project involved building a 3.5-mile access road and supplying power to the isolated project site, blasting 40 feet into granite to create a football field-sized space for the detector enclosure to completed construction of the massive 350-foot-long concrete facility. BIM technology was critical in identifying logistical and scheduling issues, demonstrating how the complex building components would fit together and designing a real-time communication plan for stakeholders. The unique application of BIM technology led to the development of 3D laser scanning, which helped minimize layout time for excavation.

University of Minnesota

Higher Education

Burns & McDonnell Engineer Co.

Ash River, MN

39,500 sf

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