Cobo Center Canopy and Renovations

In late December of 2012 Mr. Geoffrey Harrison, President of the SDG Design Group approached Bob Darvas to study and propose an affordable structural scheme for the planned East Entry Canopy to the COBO Center. An earlier structural scheme was rejected for being far too costly.

There were several major components to the architectural concept. The glass-clad front had to be on the surface of a torus with a minimum span of 180 ft. plus 40 ft. extensions. The members were to project a so-called dia-grid pattern. The glass cladding had to be eccentric to the structure in order to provide space for the large video screen. The glass clad roof extending to the west at the top had to be large enough to provide protection to people traversing toward the main entry doors of Cobo Hall. Finally, the structure had to present a light, visually clear appearance.

Based on our many decades of experience with the design and construction of complex structures, it was quite clear to us that the successful solution required in developing a node, where the rigid (moment) connection of the six crossing members of the dia-grid can be easily accomplished by bolting. This concept allowed us to create a reticulated toroidal shell made up of steel members, fully continuous at the nodes, easily absorbing the bending moments at the nodes from the eccentric weight of the glass and the video screen.

RDA’s design has saved several millions of dollars in construction cost by reducing the structural steel to less than 1/3-rd when compared to the earlier scheme and creating an easily constructible structure. As Mr. Harrison commented: “Bob, without your design, the canopy would never have happened.”

Visit online at www.cobocenter.com.

  • Credits
  • Location – Detroit, MI
  • Project Completed – 2013
  • SDG Design Group, Detroit, MI – Executive Architects
  • TVS Design Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Rosetti Architects Inc., Detroit, MI – Associate Architects
  • Midwest Steel Supply Inc., Detroit, MI – Erectors
  • Thomas Steel Inc. Bellevue, OH – Fabricators
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA – Structural Engineer
  • Nadir Makhlouf, RDA – Project Manager

EnV Tower

The EnV Tower is a 28 story post-tensioned concrete, mixed-use building in downtown Chicago. The building is composed of retail space on the first floor, office space on the second and third floor, followed by three levels of parking, and finally the remainder of the building with apartments. Included in the corner apartments are balconies that cantilever 13 feet, all done with an 8 inch thick slab and with strict deflection requirments to allow the glass facade to continue on the balconies. Upon completion of the project the contractor noted that the efficiency of the design was so substantial that it saved the owner over $1,000,000 in reinforcing costs. LEED Silver.

  • Credits
  • Location – Chicago, IL
  • Completed – 2010
  • The Lynd Company, San Antonio, TX – Owner
  • Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, IL – Architects
  • James McHugh Construction Co., Chicago, IL – General Contractor
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Erik Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

3COM Regional Complex

This project was phase one of 3COM’s midwest corporate complex. It was created around an existing 400,000 square foot building and includes an array of structural feats, including slanted concrete walls, sloped columns, elliptical structural steel beams and cable supported roofs.

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201 Depot Street Office Building

The 201 Depot Street Office Building sits on the north side of Ann Arbor, situated in the flood plain adjacent to the Huron River. The location created some design challenges for this medium sized building, including deep foundations, a limited amount of area that could touch the ground, and parking beneath the raised building.

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Kresge

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  • Location –
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  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager

University of Chicago Student Housing

 The University of Chicago Student Housing project is a 14 floor mixed-use collegiate residential building, with a building construction cost of $50.0 million. The 330,000 square foot post-tensioned flat plate concrete slab with round concrete columns and shear walls includes one level of retail space two levels of parking and eleven of residential housing. Public spaces will include green roof terraces, lobby, and study spaces.

  • Credits
  • Location – Chicago, IL
  • Completed – In Design
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – Owner
  • Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, IL – Architects
  • James McHugh Construction Company, Chicago, IL – General Contractor
  • Erik R. Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

1401 South Main Street Apartment Building, Chicago, IL

A 21 floor mixed use concrete building including first floor retail, above ground parking deck, 17 floors of apartment space, and green rooftop terrace totaling 350,000 square feet. Design highlights include architecturally exposed concrete stairs, sloped concrete columns and a steel balcony system.

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  • Project Completed –
  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager

Antioch Health and Wellness Center

The Curl Gymnasium has served Antioch College since 1928, with an addition in the 1960’s that enclosed an outdoor pool, a new gym and four racquetball courts. The $7.5 million renovation transforms the facility into the Health and Wellness Center, which will serve not only the College but also the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The project involved extensive rehabilitation of the existing structure, including complete replacement of a deteriorated gymnasium floor structure and one wall of the natatorium. The redesigned facility includes new locker rooms, “pickup” gym spaces, a multi-use space for yoga, zumba, and other fitness programs, two racquetball courts, a fitness center, a state-of-the-art aquatic center with fully accessible pool and whirlpool, and flexible space including a warming kitchen for visiting programs. A spacious lobby designed for casual encounters, as well as larger assemblies and includes a modest snack bar. The new mechanical systems connect to the college’s new central geothermal system.

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  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager

Romulus Recreation Center

The 90,000-square-foot project at 35765 Northline Rd., near Wayne Road, was designed with an aviation motif to reflect Romulus’s status as the home of Detroit Metropolitan Airport and gateway to the world. The 40,000 square-foot warehouse had most recently been a distribution facility for steel products, the new design incorporated many of the existing structural elements and blended the building in extremely well with the surrounding area.The recreational center was designed to be a “multi-purpose” center. Along with an indoor track, a climbing wall, and work-out areas, it boasts several swimming areas, complete with water cannons and sprayers. The center also has multifunctional areas suited to weddings, birthday parties, and business meetings.The indoor track and a lounge area are on the building’s newly-built second floor – the perfect vantage point for watching airport arrivals and departures.

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  • Project Completed –
  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager

Ingham County Fairground Horse Arena

In partnership with Straub Pettitt Yaste Architects, RDA provided design services for the foundation for “hoop house” covered practice arena for the Ingham County Fairgrounds. The “hoop house” is a tension fabric style building, estimated to be 75’W x 144’L and has 2 fourteen foot overhead doors (one on the east end and one of the west end) and 4 people doors (two on each end). It also has a lighting package and an air exchange system. The building is primarily a horse practice arena and animal facility.

  • Credits
  • Location –
  • Project Completed –
  • – Architects
  • – General Contractor
  • RDA – Structural Engineer
  • RDA – Project Manager