Design-Build

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the renovation of an existing school building into a modernized facility for a new all-male high school, particularly for young men of color.  Originally constructed in 1966, the building was shuttered due to decreased enrollment in 2013.  The project is located in northeast DC on a site adjacent to a community center/library.  The project was implemented over two phases. 

Phase 1 included the modernization of the building’s main entrance, which is centrally located and connects the structure via two wings—an academic wing and a multi-purpose wing.  Additional modifications included: a new main office and administrative suite; a new, expanded library/media center; a cafeteria/multi-purpose room, music room, lab spaces and classrooms.  Phase 2 of the project entailed renovations on the second and third floors, including the gymnasium and auditorium. 

Structural work included introduction of new rooftop mechanical equipment and screen enclosures, new entrance vestibules and lobby, removal of a portion of the second floor to create the two-story media center, and extensive crawl space repairs to address significant deterioration.

Murch Elementary School

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the modernization and expansion of the historic two-story Murch Elementary School building, originally built in 1929.  The renovated building and new addition is approximately 100,000 sf and serves a student body of 700 students.

The school’s renovations include updated classrooms, “pull-out” instruction spaces, a full-size gymnasium with stage, media center with “maker space,” laptop laboratory and small group instruction spaces, an administrative/welcome center, an art and kiln room, cafeteria, and a parking garage.  The building is expected to achieve LEED for Schools Gold certification.  

The project’s superstructure primarily consists of structural steel framing in combination with a limited area of cast-in-place concrete construction. Structural steel framing within the project includes composite steel, open web joists, and long-span roof construction.  The project’s concrete construction is limited to the floor framing above the garage and plaza.  The existing buildings were analyzed to support new mechanical equipment and provide large openings in the existing bearing walls at the connection between the old and new building.
 

Bancroft Elementary School Modernization

The old Bancroft campus consisted of five adjoining buildings totaling 94,000 sf.  Originally constructed in 1923, numerous modifications were made to the base structure: three buildings were added in 1932, 1961 and 1973, along with an addition constructed in 1938.  Due to the site’s topography, the buildings adjoined at various misaligned levels.  

Integrating ideas from a completed feasibility study (which SK&A also contributed to), the modernization of the campus included the demolition of two of the existing buildings as well as the previous expansion.  A new unifying building addition was constructed, knitting together the remaining historic structures with the new facility and providing a simplified circulation pattern within the reconnected campus.  

The completed project features multiple courtyards; a new multi-purpose “Curiosity Center” media area; and new outdoor playing fields.  The project’s superstructure primarily consists of structural steel framing in combination with a limited area of cast-in-place concrete construction.  Structural steel framing includes composite steel, open web joists and long-span roof construction.  Concrete construction is limited to the floor framing above the garage and plaza.

The existing buildings to remain were analyzed to support new mechanical equipment and provide large openings in the existing bearing walls at the connection between the old and new building. The modernized school will serve over 550 students and is LEED for Schools Gold certified.  
 

DC Water Headquarters

SK&A provided structural engineering services for the design of DC Water’s new headquarters.  The stylistic, modern facility is located on 2.75 acres, adjacent to the waterfront mixed-use development, The Yards, and the Washington National’s baseball stadium.  

The new building is a six-story, 150,000 gsf steel-frame structure with a fluid form. The building footprint was carefully shaped to develop a unique, site-specific solar response and consists of full-height curtainwall on the south, east, and west sides to take advantage of the scenic views, and gradually shifts to punched windows on the less scenic north side of the building.  The structure consists of a framed concrete slab-at-grade with six levels (five office levels and an accessible roof terrace) of composite steel construction.

The exterior facades feature a glass and aluminum curtain wall system on the south facade, and a “variegated green rainscreen panel system” on the north and west facades.  The building was constructed around and above the existing “O” Street Pumping Station, which maintained full operations throughout construction.  Foundations for the structure consists of below grade transfer elements and deep foundations.  As part of the landscape design, an exterior boardwalk and metal grating structure was implemented over existing tidal gates.

New mechanical equipment support and an enclosure were added on top of the existing pump station building.  New openings in the exterior walls at the ground floor  of the pump station facility provide a visual connection to the pump room from the new lobby.

Additional project features include an entry court, interactive exhibit space, and a boardwalk along the south facade.  The mechanical systems uses the pump station wastewater for heat recovery and rainwater from the rooftop will be collected in a cistern to use for toilet flushing.

Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology, University of Maryland

A three-story addition to the biotechnology research center delivered via design-build approach.  The center includes biomedical research labs, lab support, scientific computing, and faculty office space for biotechnology research.  The project also includes a free-standing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facility. 

HHS at Parklawn, 5600 Fishers Lane

Renovation of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Parklawn Building to upgrade the facility into a Class “A”, LEED Platinum-certified office building with industrial loft aesthetics and innovative green features.  

Structural modifications included a 12-story vertical expansion to create a new atrium space.  The new atrium feature consists of a new floor at the main building level, along with new elevator and stair cores situated at the atrium corners, serving each level above the atrium floor.  The atrium is enclosed by a new steel-framed roof with 100-foot spans supporting a 100x100-foot ETFE skylight system.  Four existing elevator cores were demolished, removing off-grid columns that required new slabs as well as column jackets at the affected column bays.

Additional modifications included floor penetrations at existing slabs for new elevator and mechanical shafts, in-fill of existing abandoned shafts, FRP retrofits for the new facade and two-story lobby, and blast hardening at columns and slabs. 

Dunbar Senior High School

Replacing an outdated 1970’s facility, the new Dunbar High School is designed to provide a sense of clarity and purpose that honors the school’s original traditions.  The two-story open hall, known as the “Armory,” is located in the heart of the school, as originally built in 1917.

Accommodating 1,100 students, the new facility includes a four-story academic wing with flexible learning spaces for four different “academies,” a two-story library and administrative area, and a two-story athletic wing housing the gymnasium auditorium above the natatorium.  The LEED for Schools Platinum certified project includes over 300 geothermal wells, a 500,000 kW solar panel array, two 20,000 gallon cisterns for reusing rainwater, enhanced acoustics, and low VOC materials.  The project was developed under the DC Department of General Services’ (DC DGS) modified design-build program on a fast-track schedule.

Ballou Senior High School

A new 310,000 sf replacement high school designed to provide a state-of-the-art learning facility with flexibility for the ever-changing demands of the education environment.  Located in Southeast DC, the project includes: gymnasiums and fitness center; a natatorium; a collegiate-level, theater-style auditorium; a light-filled library/multimedia center; and a three-story, off-hill classroom wing.

The components are tied together with a “Main Street” concept and wrap to form an interior courtyard.  The project was developed under the DC DGS modified design-build program on a fast-track schedule and is slated for LEED Gold Certification.