The result of a highly collaborative integrated project delivery process with partners OHSU, The Knight Foundation, SRG Partnership, and McCarthy/Andersen, the 320,000 square-foot Knight Cancer Research Building in the South Waterfront was built on time and on budget.  Challenged by significant geotechnical constraints and the need to create open and flexible collaborative spaces for the nearly 600 researchers and administrators, Catena’s creativity and keen eye towards lasting function and cost-efficiency resulted in several outside-the-box structural solutions.  The building includes post-tensioned concrete flat slab construction at lab floors that span 42 feet between columns – double the width of a standard lab module.  The use of concrete flat slabs allows for minimal floor-to-floor height and an ability to eliminate dropped ceilings.  Care was given to ensure long-term slab performance, mitigation of visible cracking, and sufficient tendon cover for installation of anchors during initial and future tenant improvement.  Another creative structural solution allowed for the realization of a 60-ft by 84-ft column-free auditorium space on Level 1.  A standard column transfer girder would have resulted in significant ceiling height impacts and deflection concerns while supporting the six floors above.  Catena instead placed a full-story-high concrete transfer girder between Levels 6 and 7, where programming allowed, and suspended the concrete column from Level 2 upward.  The $190 million facility was completed in 2018 and achieved LEED Platinum Certification.


About Jason Thompson

Jason has over 25 years in the structural engineering profession, having designed and managed a broad range of new buildings and rehabilitation projects that include those within the commercial office, education, health care and civic markets. His ability to collaborate with design and construction partners facilitates delivery of design-oriented structural solutions with an eye on constructability. Jason earned his Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of California at San Diego and his Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities as a principal within catena, Jason can be found cheering on his kids from the sidelines of their soccer matches, going on a hike or snowshoeing on the slopes of Mt. Hood or Mt. St. Helens, or playing with his dog at Grant Park.