Featured Innovation: Saving A Library’s Slab

During the design process of replacing the electrical transformers in Alkek Library at Texas State University, Freese and Nichols’ structural engineers discovered that although the concrete beams on the first floor could bear the weight of the new equipment in its final resting locations, the suspended slab could not hold the weight in transit.

Our team designed a temporary platform that consisted of using materials on hand, reducing construction costs for the University. Freese and Nichols’ electrical and structural design also helped reduce construction cost by transporting the transformers through the door frame without demolishing the wall.

This was achieved by temporarily removing the door frames, adding additional inches to seamlessly move the equipment. Without the temporary platform, the heavy load could have damaged or caused excessive deformations, cracking, spalling and puncture of the slab, damaging the air handling unit fans, coils, ductwork and piping below.

Overall, the team saved the University money and minimized risk with the innovative traverse design.

Sustainable Feature

The design used materials the contractor already had on hand: timber planks, steel beams and steel plates, saving material costs as well as transportation and delivery fees.

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