top of page

Throwback Thursday: UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Library

Celebrating 60 Years

In honor of celebrating 60 years in July, F&T is sharing throwback projects and clients from over the years. This week’s Throwback Thursday: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Claire T. Carney Library, completed in 2013!

Fitzemeyer & Tocci was the mechanical, plumbing and fire protection engineer for the renovation and addition to the University’s iconic 5-story, 1972 constructed library, designed by world-renowned architect Paul Rudolph. The $42M expansion and renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library was completed in 2013. This multiphase project greatly enhanced the user experience of the building with bright and spacious interiors designed to accommodate the diverse learning styles of students. The expanded and renovated library is the center of campus learning, discourse, and scholarship.

"F&T was a vital team participant that helped design and develop a complex MEP system for the renovation of the Claire T. Carney Library. Sprinklers were a last-minute addition to the project and F&T helped provide a solution that was both cost effective and seamless to the Paul Rudolph designed building."

- Peter Geldmacher, Construction Project Manager, UMass Dartmouth

MP/FP Design Challenges

The project posed significant design and construction coordination challenges because of the cast-in-place concrete structure and very limited mechanical pathways. The design team provided close coordination between the multiple firms involved in the project using fully 3-dimensional building information modeling. In addition, the building itself, with large and deep cast-in-place concrete beams and penetration-sensitive structurally reinforced floor slabs, was not immediately conducive to energy efficient, quiet, and low maintenance mechanical system designs.

Our Design Solutions

To replace the 54 decentralized, maintenance intensive and noisy air handlers throughout the building, the F&T engineer and design team coordinated together to orchestrate a combination of four rooftop and one indoor centralized semi-custom modular variable air volume (VAV) air handling units to serve the entire existing and expanded building. This significantly increased energy efficiency and comfort control, while considerably reducing the maintenance requirements of the building and noise transmission to occupied spaces. Each floor’s penetrations were vertically aligned via existing air handler mechanical rooms. To conceal MP/FP systems, existing narrow horizontal channels between structural cast-in place concrete beams were tightly coordinated, with multiple utilities running through each floor. While upgrades to the architecture, HVAC, plumbing, fire protection and electrical systems were being implemented, the library also remained open to students and completely functional.

Project Facts:


  • 2014 Honor Award for Design Excellence n | AIA New England

  • 2014 Honorable Mention for Academic Library | American Libraries Associate / IIDA

  • 2014 Honor Award for Addition or Adaptive Re-use | Society of College and University Planning

  • 2013 Interior Design Awards for Education | IIDA, New England Chapter

  • 2013 Education Facilities Design Citation | Boston Society of Architects

  • 2013 Honor Award for Design Excellence | Boston Society of Architects

  • 2013 Interior Design Award for Education | Contract Magazine

Construction Cost: $42M

Project Size: 156,000 sf

Year Completed: 2013

Architect: designLAB Architects and Austin Architects

Learn more about F&T's History here.


bottom of page