Page B2.2 . 01 October 2003                     
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    Mezzanine Addition Spans 175 Feet

    continued

    The main girders are 26 feet-2 inches (8 meters) on center, a dimension governed by the original structural bay spacing. They are 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide by 13 feet (4 meters) deep. The structural slab that spans the girders is 8 inches (20 centimeters) thick, also of post-tensioned concrete.

    The renovation encloses the previously open-air pool and creates about 60,000 square feet (5,600 square meters) of gymnasium and multipurpose space. The massive concrete will serve to reduce vibration from the upper-level court space.

    Continental Concrete Structures of Atlanta worked with ABS Consulting of St. Louis to design the unique structural system. They received vibration analysis consultation from Thomas Murray, a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

    Need More Room? Add a Floor

    The 1996 Olympic venue had become obsolete, according to Steve DeHekker, project manager for Hastings & Chivetta. The freestanding, outdoor shelter built for the swimming and diving competitions was not suitable for year-round use by the university. Moreover, he explains, its extreme height had been necessary to accommodate the 15,000 spectator seats, but 13,000 of them were temporary and had been removed.

    Demolition of the Olympic structure was not considered an option because the existing roof needed to remain intact. Solar panels that cover the roof are part of a 25-year research project being conducted by Georgia Tech, Georgia Power, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

    "The solution of building a floor inside the existing structure was one of the most creative ideas that I have seen in a long time," says Michael Edwards, Georgia Tech's director of athletic facilities planning. "Many groups told us it could not be done."

    But now that it has been installed, the new floor addresses several problems. It allows for efficient use of the volume over the pools and gives the school new gym space. It also enables Georgia Tech to turn the former Olympic venue into a world class aquatic facility for the men's and women's varsity swimming and diving team. They hope to be able to attract premier national and state as well as local aquatic events.

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    ArchWeek Image

    The inserted floor provides multiple courts for the new student recreation center.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Massive pillars rise during construction to support the extraordinary girders.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    The builders erected a temporary platform at the bottom of the girders to facilitate formwork and construction.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Section looking south through the new aquatic center at Georgia Tech.
    Image: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor plan of the pool level.
    Image: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    Post-tension steel being laid into the girders' formwork.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    The main girders are 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide by 13 feet (4 meters) deep.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

    ArchWeek Image

    The new enclosure for Georgia Tech's aquatic facility during construction.
    Photo: Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc.

     

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