Serving all of the Space Coast, the Treasure Coast,
and select clients in Greater Florida and the Caribbean
Post Office Box 434
Melbourne, FL 32902
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The Crane Creek Medical Center
The Crane Creek Medical Center Project has proven to be a unique opportunity for our Firm... for us to demonstrate our abilities in structural building design. When we entered this project the building had already been completely designed, and the project had already been "bid out" to contractors for pricing. The problem was that the prices for construction came in too high and threatened the economic viability of the entire Project.
One of the Developer partners for this Project is a client for whom we have provided Structural Design and Threshold Inspection services since 1993. They approached us about re-designing the structure of the building. Efficient structural designs can have a huge positive impact on both Project budgets and schedules. We were able to re-configure the structure of this building such that the net result was $1.2 million in cost savings. Our structural building design also provided four months in structural construction time savings. Subtract the month that we spent re-designing the structure, and we were able to deliver a structural design that saved our client three months and $1.2 million. Also, we believe that the primarily concrete building shell design we provided is structurally superior to the steel-framed structure that was originally planned.
Besides the tight schedule to complete the structural construction plans, this Project also presented us many structural design challenges. To the building's users and to the public in general, this is a six-story building. However, structurally, this is actually a seven-story building. The first floor / first parking garage level is an elevated floor slab over a 24,000 square foot by 7 foot tall under-building storm-water retention tank. This building will retain the stormwater runoff from it's parking areas and from US 1 beneath it, while allowing the water to slowly leach into the groundwater table. This helps keep Crane Creek, the Melbourne Harbor Marina, and the Indian River Lagoon from flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. This building will hold over 800,500 gallons of rainwater runoff, and keep it from draining directly into the creek.
This building will have a medical MRI scanner on the 5th floor that will weigh about 30,000 pounds. Besides the structural challenges of supporting such a load on an elevated floor, there is also the difficulty of actually physically installing such a large and heavy piece of equipment. The client required the ability to have state of the art equipment - not only now, but in the future as well. That meant we had the additional problem providing a means of removing the MRI and installing a new one. Our solution was that a ten-foot wide portion of the 5th Floor exterior structural wall will actually be a door - albeit a very large door - that will be built to swing open to permit a heavy crane to access the MRI room on that floor. When the door is not in use it will be bolted shut, to the 9" thick reinforced conctete floors above and below it. But in the future, when the venerable Doctors decide that a new piece equipment is too good to not have... those bolts will come out. A ten-foot by ten-foot square section of the 5th floor's exterior wall will swing open. A very large door, on very large hinges. Many pictures of the first time we perform that operation will appear on this website.
The building is also built into a
tall hill that runs down to Crane Creek.
As a result, the bottom/storm-water retention level, and also the
entire First Floor are buried from the southeast side of the building (the side
visible from Highway US-1). A complicated system of structural retaining walls
and vehicle ramps is being constructed to allow vehicle access
to the three parking levels. The photo above shows
the work-in-progress to pour concrete on what appears to be the
second elevated floor slab - but at the time this photo was taken, this structure
is already four stories tall. The first two floors were built and
were already undergroud from this perspective! When it
is finished, the view of this Building from the opposite side
of the Creek - from the Manatee Park area on Melbourne Avenue
- will be the only perspective from which the true size of this
Project will be visible.
Our Firm's Principal Engineer serves as both the Structural Engineer of Record and the Special Inspector of Record for this Project. We have welcomed this opportunity to demonstrate our ability in the construction of a multi-story Medical Facility (we can do more than just schools, hotels and condos). As of the time of this writing in mid-January 2008, we have just finished the structure of the fourth floor of this landmark building. We are very proud to be a part of this Project which should prove to have a very positive impact on a currently blighted area of downtown Melbourne.
Updated photos of the building
construction will be peroidically posted to this site.
Aerial Site Photos are here
January 2008 Construction Photos are here
February 2008 Construction Photos are here
early March 2008 Construction Photos are here
late March 2008 Construction Photos are here
Photos of the Lobby Roof framing being flown in June 2008 are here
The view of the Building in January 2008 from Manatee Park:
The view of the Building in March 2008 from Manatee
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Copyright © 2007 - 2008 by the author: Sean C. Burlingham, P.E. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of this work is permitted without the permission of the author.