TYLin provided structural engineering design services for a new net zero energy building dedicated to the study of climate change.
Located in a FEMA flood hazard area, this new visitor center replaces a late 1950s bathhouse that once stood at the same site. The project team constructed the 330-foot-long building atop a foundation of new and existing piles; its superstructure uses glulam framing with wood shear walls.
During schematic design, TYLin determined the building layout in relation to the existing foundation system that would best allow for the reuse of the existing timber piles while raising the new structure above the flood zone. The new slab is designed such that the lowest horizontal members are above the design flood elevation. The new platform is supported by new concrete piers on a combination of existing pile caps with existing timber piles and new pile caps with new timber piles. This partial re-use of existing foundation elements necessitated load testing of the existing piles. Since piles are typically load tested to failure, TYLin selected those that would not be reused for the new structure.
Image credit: Michael Moran