Williams Mullen Center
Receiving recognition for our engineering excellence on Williams Mullen Center located on the corner of 10th and Canal Streets in downtown Richmond, Virginia was quite an honor--Speight Marshall Francis was awarded a 2011 Engineering Excellence Honor Award from the Virginia Chapter of the American Council of Consulting Engineers (ACEC). Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate also honored our design and construction team with “Project of the Year” and “Best Office Project.”
Speight Marshall Francis served as the Structural Engineer of Record and Agent 1 Special Inspector for the 17-story William Mullen Center in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The building is comprised of first-floor retail space, 5-story parking garage topped with 10-stories of Class A office space. The footprint of the new tower encompasses the entire surface parking lot on the corner of 10th and Canal Streets. Our building also extends 50-feet over the footprint of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) parking garage at the sixth level. This unique footprint presented several issues and opportunities to develop creative solutions during the design and construction phases. The building construction consists of reinforced concrete frames and a post-tensioned concrete flat plate floor system. The existing parking structure was analyzed for the effects of the new building and it was determined that 8 seismic column base isolators would be used to minimize the lateral loads on the existing building. The building is founded on a 3-foot, 4-foot and 5-foot diameter caisson drilled 60 feet into the riverbed below. Caisson installation was extremely critical as the caissons were installed in the same location as the foundation tieback system for the existing garage. SMF was required to be on-site for continual observation of the caisson installation to ensure the tieback system for the existing garage was maintained and to react quickly to remediate any damaged tieback.
Our value to successful completion of the project can best be summed up in an excerpt from a letter we received from Tony Nero, President of Armada Hoffler:
...your team never flinched in working with the contractor and architect to find the most cost effective solutions that solve the problem at hand but would also meet the tight schedule the project was under. From initial evaluation of several different structural systems prior to full design to sending your engineers to the site whenever needed to inspect the work or review shop drawings and field conditions, your firm was always there ready to help.
Some images courtesy of Armada Hoffler and HBA Architecture & Interior Design.