Government - State/Local

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.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center Campus Repair & Restoration Services

SK&A’s Repair & Restoration (R&R) Division has conducted various services for multiple existing buildings (Buildings #1, 4, 12, 14-16, 82 & 90) at the Walter Reed redevelopment site.  Services have included building envelope condition assessments (including waterproofing), garage surveys and repairs, as well as assistance/input regarding  “mothballing” or preservation efforts of various buildings onsite.  Construction administration and quality assurance services are also expected to be provided under future requests.   Examples  of completed projects include:

  • Main (Original) Hospital, Building #1.  The site’s original hospital facility, Building 1, was completed in December 1908.  A red brick, three-story structure with a basement level, the building was designed in the “New Georgian” style of the era, with a white cupola and Corinthian columns.  R&R conducted a condition survey of the overall exterior façade, accessible roof areas, building envelope, and structural components.  Review of later mothballing efforts was also performed.  Overall, the structure was deemed in fair condition, however isolated components, such as the building fenestration, showed signs of distress.  A final condition assessment report was prepared, detailing the observations and providing recommendations for repair and maintenance.
  • Abrams Hall, Building #14.  Built in or around 1976, Abrams Hall is a three-story residential building with three levels of underground parking garage for 487 cars.  An elevated plaza is located on the main level and is generally contained by the building.  In preparation for partial renovation of the building for new senior housing, SK&A provided structural design as well as repair & restoration services.  R&R conducted a facade condition survey, including exploratory investigation services from the ground to roof levels. A final condition assessment report was prepared, detailing the observations and providing recommendations for repair, in addition to photographic documentation and repair cost estimates.  Full façade repair drawings and specifications were provided as well.
  • Central Heating Plant, Building #15.  Built in or around 1918, the former Central Heating Plant is a concrete, two-story building, with primarily brick exterior walls and an addition with a veneer facade.  Similar to Building #1, R&R conducted a condition survey of the exterior façade and building envelope of the building, as well as a review of structural components.  The building was found to be in overall fair condition and a final report summarizing recommended repairs and maintenance.

200 Eye Street, SE

Built in 1957, this former printing facility was a five-story building that included a basement level over pile foundations.  In the early 2000’s, the building was renovated to house a telecommunications firm, which was never occupied.  Floors were filled in on all levels and structural column modifications existed on some floors.

Completed in 2012, the building was converted to office space for occupation by various DC Government agencies.  The lowest level was converted to parking and a new two-level parking garage was constructed adjacent to the existing building on the east side.  Lateral stiffness of the building was enhanced using steel braced frames installed before removing the existing precast façade.  New elevator shafts and interconnecting stairs were framed at existing floor plates. Structural services also included the evaluation of existing structural elements for new loading, green roof evaluation and local strengthening.

The project has received the highest level of LEED certification–Platinum, as well as numerous awards of recognition.

Southern Regional TechRec Complex

Located in Prince George’s County, MD, the Southern Regional TechRec Complex is a state-of-the-art, multigenerational community facility providing a broad range of recreational and technology resources.  The facility’s features include: a double court gymnasium with suspended running track, a large multi-purpose room, fitness rooms, a climbing wall, classrooms, group exercise areas, a kitchen, a professional recording studio, a dance studio, soccer and multi-purpose fields, and parking spaces for 200 cars.  The building also includes a vegetative green roof, cafe and lounge areas, computer and science labs, and an open viewing gallery.

The highlight of the facility’s façade is an expansive multi-colored glass curtain wall system, running the length of the building.  Additional design elements include perforated metal paneling within the exterior façade and a curving steel stairway leading to the mezzanine viewing area.  The building’s design has received multiple awards, including “Public Building of the Year” from the American Institute of Architects’s (AIA)/Maryland, a “Gold Award for Architectural Excellence” from AIA/Potomac Valley and a “Detail Award in Architecture” from AIA/DC.

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. 

Brookland Middle School

Replacing the existing outdated and shuttered school, the new Brookland Middle School provides a 21st century learning environment for 540 students.  The facility includes a three-story academic wing, a full-court gymnasium, black box-type performance hall, outdoor learning space above the gymnasium, media center, and administrative support spaces. 

In order to accommodate the project’s aggressive schedule, structural documents were released well in advance of other disciplines, to permit early engagement and the mobilization of structural trades, which allowed the contractor to meet the project deadline.  The project is also slated for LEED Gold certification.

1901 E Street, SE Concrete Repairs

SK&A’s Repair & Restoration Group provided concrete repair services for a corrections facility located at 1901 E Street, SE.  After reviewing the original precast design drawings dated September 1990 and observation of the existing conditions, we identified the deterioration of two precast panels located above the gymnasium that cover the satellite kitchens on the eastern portion of the facility. Both panels showed signs of movement. 

During our investigation, the roofing material and isolated concrete masonry unit (CMU) blocks were removed, uncovering the existing conditions of the connections.  The precast panel connections had failed and the horizontal steel plate (which extends from the concrete slab) was bent downward.  The intermediate level connections were specified to be connected to the concrete slab, similar to the roof level. The panels have three different elevation locations with rigid connections: at the gym roof, the satellite kitchen floor, and the roof level.  After numerous expansion and contraction cycles due to weather, the welds likely reached the point of fatigue and broke, due to the lack of vertical expansion relief.

Our recommendations for pulling the two panels back into their original position included:

  • Shoring the bottom of the panels before inducing any external forces to re-plumb them.
  • Installing three connections per level to properly stabilize each panel (after restoring each panel to its original position).
  • Using the existing embedded plates at the roof and intermediate levels with a new connection installed at the midpoint of each panel.

The new and repaired connection points would accommodate vertical displacement between the precast panel and the concrete slabs by installing bolts with vertical slotted holes in the connection plates and precast.  The two gravity connections at each panel would not need to be reconnected. 

We also recommended installing new gravity connections at the midpoint of each panel at the steel beam level and installing new connections at the midpoints of the panels, to introduce additional redundancy within the system and as a protection from any unforeseen internal damage to the precast panels, embedded plates, and remaining welds that may exist. All of our recommendations were implemented and completed.

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