Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


The winners of the 2014 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southeast Best Project Award were recently announced, and in the category of Higher Education/Research, the Innovation Science and Technology Building, located on the campus of the new Florida Polytechnic University received top honors. Built by Skanska USA and designed by famed architect, Santiago Calatrava, this 162,000-square-foot-building features Plexi-Chemie’s PlexiGard MRD in the elevators, engineering wet labs, chemistry prep room and physics prep rooms. As an epoxy flooring manufacturer, Plexi-Chemie is proud to have been a part of this award-winning project. 

ENR_se_twitter_icon_400x400The Award Details

ENR Southeast provides local, in-depth and comprehensive coverage on heavy, highway, building and industrial construction news in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The annual ENR Southeast Best Projects Awards program honors the best construction projects and the companies that designed and built them. Projects compete in 20 specialized categories, including higher education/research and sports/entertainment. Independent juries of industry leaders judge the projects using five criteria: overcoming challenges and teamwork, safety, innovation and contribution to the industry and/or community, construction quality and craftsmanship, and functionality and aesthetic quality.  According to ENR Southeast, determining the 2014 winners was not an easy task. There were nearly 100 entries, with over 15 submittals for the higher education/research category alone. As the Best Project Award winner in its category, the Innovation Science and Technology Building is entered into the Best of the Best Projects 2014, a national juried competition.

Centerpiece of the Campus

The Innovation Science and Technology Building is the centerpiece of Florida Polytechnic University, the newest member of the Florida State university system. The campus, located in Lakeland along the I-4 high tech quarter, opened in August 2014. The focus of Florida Polytechnic University is the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The location of the campus in one of Florida’s high tech centers is a critical component of the University’s mission to connect students with industry partners and provide hands-on experience. Currently, Florida Polytechnic University offers six degrees in two colleges.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

About the Cutting-Edge Building

According to Skanska, the Innovation Science and Technology Building was a very complex project, with 90 percent of the building on a radius, the glazed roof covered with operable louver arms that reach up to 12 stories above grade to regulate light into the building and a cast-in-place concrete structure that required a great deal of craftsmanship. Even with these challenges, Skanska completed the project on schedule and within the $60 million budget. 

The Role of PlexiGard MRD

To say that each aspect of this complex and high profile job was held to the highest standard of quality and performance would be an understatement.  It was imperative that the floors installed in the elevators, engineering wet labs, chemistry prep room and physics prep rooms be durable, water-proof and chemical and abrasion resistant. The floors in these rooms also had to match the polished concrete scope, taking on a look of concrete with a matte urethane finish. PlexiGard MRD, a decorative membrane flooring, has all of these properties, making it the perfect choice for these areas of the Innovation Science and Technology Building.  Plexi-Chemie’s PlexiGard MRD is a 1/8-inch thick decorative quartz, slip resistant broadcast system that is designed to address moisture in mechanical equipment rooms and other indoor spaces. The elastomer primer allows the system to resist dynamic stresses in the substrate to ensure the system remains waterproof. 

The PlexiGard MRD system consists of the following:

  • Rubberthane – a two-component, free-flowing, 100% solids, urethane, elastomeric waterproof membrane.
  • PlexiQuartz Basecoat – a three-component, free-flowing, epoxy formulation consisting of resin, curing agent and fine aggregate.
  • PlexiQuartz Aggregate – brightly colored, quartz broadcast aggregate.
  • PlexiQuartz Sealer – a two-component, high performance, UV resistant, clear sealer. Available in high-gloss, semi-gloss or matte finish. 

PlexiGard MRD Flooring System is a lab classroom at Florida Polytechnic University

An Amazing Innovation

Together with Skanska USA, architect Santiago Calatrava and all other contractors and subcontractors on the job, Plexi-Chemie helped make this unique, award-winning building a functional and inspiring space for Florida Polytechnic University students to become innovative problem-solvers, high tech professionals and future leaders in the STEM fields. 

[dt_divider style=”thin” /]

For more information about PlexiGard MRD, please contact a Plexi-Chemie sales representative, or feel free to call us at 904-693-8800 or email us at

2015-09-22T18:24:45+00:00Oct 20th 2014|News|

About the Author:

Leave A Comment