University of Buffalo
Ketter Hall



Ketter Hall is a new 35,000 SF modern technical addition to the Seismic Lab and Research Center at the University at Buffalo. It was constructed as a new separate building located adjacent to the existing lab, where some of the mechanical and electrical services were shared.

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The new addition expanded the University’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL), creating a highly versatile earthquake engineering research facility. The SEESL included an expanded “strong floor”, a large retraction wall and a trench to house two (2) movable shake tables.

The facility consisted of a large, industrial type open high bay area with overhead trolley beams used to position samples for testing. The energy used to replicate an earthquake came from four (4) new 400 HP hydraulic pumps and two (2) relocated 200 HP hydraulic pumps, which fed six (6) accumulators under the “strong floor”. The “strong floor” was used to fasten samples, with hydraulic actuators also anchored, causing differentiating stress in the sample to be generated and measured.

K&L Group provided full HVAC for the entire building with partially cooled air in the summer for the large high bay area, full winter heating and full heating and cooling for support spaces (i.e., control rooms, administrative office, storage, etc.). K&L reused excess power in the existing substation to feed the new addition. However, a new 27 KV, 2000 KVA dual feed substation was provided for the four (4) new 400 HP pumps to avoid building voltage sag if all four (4) pumps are operated together. Ventilation of the basement service rooms and the areas under the “strong floor” prevented accumulation of oil vapors, odors and included a general air exhaust. Utilities (e.g., chilled water, gas, domestic water, sanitary waste, fire water, storm water, power and communications) were tied into the existing campus systems.

Project completed by K&L Group, A Division of MG Engineering