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2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards in New Construction and The People’s Choice Award

SMR-ISD Consulting Structural Engineers, Inc. received two top awards for engineering excellence from the San Diego Chapter of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) for its structural design of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Complex (CNATT) at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton, CA.

The firm, which was the structural engineering consultant for Prime General Contractor Harper Construction Company, received SEAOC San Diego’s 2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards for New Construction and the People’s Choice Award.

This was a $45 million design-build project for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest for a 131,000 square foot CNATT training complex for Huey and Cobra Helicopter operations and maintenance. The  complex consists of two separate buildings – a hangar bay and an instructional / administrative facility plus an adjacent parking structure.

SEAOC San Diego presented the awards to SMR-ISD in recognition of the innovative solutions developed by the firm to address challenges presented by the architectural design and functionality of the complex.

The architectural design of the hangar area of the complex required clear, unobstructed entry for the normal operations of helicopters.  The instructional / administrative part of the complex included a large column-free multi-purpose auditorium in one wing of the building.

These design elements required the structural engineering team to develop complex horizontal truss systems for both the hangar and the auditorium to provide structural support without the use of columns.  In addition, the team needed to develop an economical and efficient plan to provide an effective truss system that was constructable.

The team relied on 3-dimensional modeling of the structure in Revit to develop workable solutions not only for the project design, but also for the means and methods of construction. For the design, the team developed an innovative “Box” truss system for the hangar bay, a challenge due to tight space constrictions.  Regarding the means and methods of construction, the team specified the use of field-bolted truss connections as opposed to a shop-welded system design which would have created a problem with the transportation of the trusses. In addition, the team had early discussions with the fabricator and steel erector to establish the type of cranes to be used and the erection strategies in order to optimize the design of the truss members.

Other challenges faced by the structural engineering team involved the Anti-Terrorism Force Protection design due to the closeness of the CNATT facility to a parking structure roadway nearby.  The four-story instructional / administrative part of the complex also needed in-depth structural analysis for the prevention of progressive collapse.

The architect of record for the project was Cass Sowatsky Consulting Architects of San Diego.