Aristech Polypropylene Technical Center

Aristech is a producer of industrial chemicals, thermoplastic polymers, intermediate chemicals, and specialty products. The company commissioned a new Polypropylene Technical Facility at the Pittsburgh Technology Center where BCJ has previously designed the Biotechnology Center of the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Mellon Research Institute.

Aristech will use the facility to demonstrate its products in an environment supporting its varied customers. The structure is flexible in order to model the differing fabrication processes of each customer. Applications laboratories are located on grade and accessible to loading and storage areas. A column-free, high bay space for fiber applications extends across the front of the building. A two story lobby connects analytical labs on the second floor to the applications labs. Sales representatives and others who need a place to work while visiting will have access to semi-private work areas, conference facilities, and a multipurpose room.

A primary goal of the design of the building is to permit maximum flexibility in the uses and sizes of various functions of the building. Thus, the building will adapt to future changes in both the marketplace and in production technologies. Primary examples include:

•    Analytical labs can be changed in both internal configuration of lab furniture and casework as well as bay size.
•    Fume hood exhaust and supply chases are sized to permit later additions
•    Wet lab service chases are located to provide easy access for maintenance and modification.
•    A limited amount of unassigned area to permit reasonable growth within the current business plan for the facility.

Project with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Photography copyright Karl Backus