Traverwood Branch Library

The Traverwood Branch Library is a one story library building with underground parking that brought together a variety of materials in its construction. The building sits on approximately 4.3 acres on the North East side of Ann Arbor in an “L” shape. The building design incorporates a floor plan that is not shy to angles, sloped walls and cantilevered roofs. While this buildings complex shape was a challenge to design and draw, it is a challenge that was openly welcomed at Robert Darvas Associates.The building was designed with sustainability in mind. Ash trees from the site that had been killed by the Emerald Ash Borer were re-used in the building as structural columns, flooring and wall paneling. Additionally, this was the first building where we incorporated the use of a High Recycled Content Concrete mix. After researching the mix designs it was decided that this type of concrete would be suitable for a number of the vertical concrete walls to be used in the underground parking. Its use was highly successful and has become a standard in our designs today.

  • Credits
  • Location – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Completed – 2008
  • Awards – AIA Michigan Design Award
  • Ann Arbor Public Library – Owner
  • InForm Studio, Northville, MI – Architects
  • O’Neal Construction, Ann Arbor, MI – General Contractor
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Erik Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer


Mark Jefferson Science Building

The 110,000 square foot science complex includes a grand atrium, suspended planetarium and pedestrian cable-stayed bridge. The building nestles between two existing buildings requiring extensive soil retention.

Vibration control was a strong concern in this building and an extensive analysis was completed. A king post truss design for floor beams accommodates the strict vibration, mechanical and architectural requirements.

RDA successfully supported the architect’s vision of the globe inside the box with open dialog, provocative imaginings, and remarkable results. The iconic expression of the weightless orb is a true mark of the successful collaboration of the building’s team.

  • Credits
  • Location – Ypsilanti, MI
  • Completed – 2011
  • Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI – Owner
  • Lord Aeck & Sargent Architecture – Ann Arbor, MI Office – Architects
  • Christman Constructors, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Erik R. Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

University of Chicago Student Housing

 The University of Chicago Student Housing project is a 14 floor mixed-use collegiate residential building, with a building construction cost of $50.0 million. The 330,000 square foot post-tensioned flat plate concrete slab with round concrete columns and shear walls includes one level of retail space two levels of parking and eleven of residential housing. Public spaces will include green roof terraces, lobby, and study spaces.

  • Credits
  • Location – Chicago, IL
  • Completed – In Design
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – Owner
  • Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, IL – Architects
  • James McHugh Construction Company, Chicago, IL – General Contractor
  • Erik R. Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

Albion College Science Complex

The Science Complex at Albion College, Albion, MI was a project consisting of the renovation of three existing classroom/lab buildings with the construction of a new state of the art lab structure and green house. There is approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of renovation and 64,000 sq. ft. of new construction. The four building complex is connected through a large glass atrium allowing for a large indoor space with outdoor qualities. The building houses biology, chemistry, geology, math/computer science, and physics.The Science Complex is a LEED Silver certified project by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building, which incorporates sustainable materials, is being used as a Living/Learning Center with scientific displays highlighting alternative energy uses. There is a wind turbine solar power collection station and a solar water heating collection station. We are capturing rain water for use in the building and have an Energy Star compliant roofing system. The project was also designed to meet the goals of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL). It facilitates interdisciplinary research and collaboration and puts science on display.


  • Credits
  • Location – Albion, MI
  • Completed – 2006
  • Albion College, Albion, MI – Owner
  • MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, Pittsburgh, PA – Architects
  • Christman Construction, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Nadir Makhlouf, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Project Manager

Brody Hall Addition and Renovation

The client’s goal for the project is a dynamic environment celebrating student life while embodying a commitment to accessibility and sustainability.The new 20,000 sq. ft. addition anchors a neighborhood of six surrounding dormitories. The addition features a two-story atrium/lobby along the east side with a projecting elliptical grotto space.The existing two-story food service building underwent a complete interior remodeling and re-configuration of the spaces. Occupation of the building was uninterrupted during the school year.

The whole team worked well together with the favorable outcome of completing the project ahead of schedule and under budget.

  • Credits
  • Location – East Lansing, MI
  • Completed – 2010 and 2001
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI – Owner
  • Design Plus, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI – Architects
  • Clark Construction, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

Antioch Health and Wellness Center

The Curl Gymnasium has served Antioch College since 1928, with an addition in the 1960’s that enclosed an outdoor pool, a new gym and four racquetball courts. The $7.5 million renovation transforms the facility into the Health and Wellness Center, which will serve not only the College but also the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The project involved extensive rehabilitation of the existing structure, including complete replacement of a deteriorated gymnasium floor structure and one wall of the natatorium. The redesigned facility includes new locker rooms, “pickup” gym spaces, a multi-use space for yoga, zumba, and other fitness programs, two racquetball courts, a fitness center, a state-of-the-art aquatic center with fully accessible pool and whirlpool, and flexible space including a warming kitchen for visiting programs. A spacious lobby designed for casual encounters, as well as larger assemblies and includes a modest snack bar. The new mechanical systems connect to the college’s new central geothermal system.

  • Credits
  • Location –
  • Project Completed –
  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager