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

Traverwood Branch Library

The Traverwood Branch Library is a one story library building with underground parking that brought together a variety of materials in its construction. The building sits on approximately 4.3 acres on the North East side of Ann Arbor in an “L” shape. The building design incorporates a floor plan that is not shy to angles, sloped walls and cantilevered roofs. While this buildings complex shape was a challenge to design and draw, it is a challenge that was openly welcomed at Robert Darvas Associates.The building was designed with sustainability in mind. Ash trees from the site that had been killed by the Emerald Ash Borer were re-used in the building as structural columns, flooring and wall paneling. Additionally, this was the first building where we incorporated the use of a High Recycled Content Concrete mix. After researching the mix designs it was decided that this type of concrete would be suitable for a number of the vertical concrete walls to be used in the underground parking. Its use was highly successful and has become a standard in our designs today.

  • Credits
  • Location – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Completed – 2008
  • Awards – AIA Michigan Design Award
  • Ann Arbor Public Library – Owner
  • InForm Studio, Northville, MI – Architects
  • O’Neal Construction, Ann Arbor, MI – General Contractor
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Erik Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

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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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Mark Jefferson Science Building

The 110,000 square foot science complex includes a grand atrium, suspended planetarium and pedestrian cable-stayed bridge. The building nestles between two existing buildings requiring extensive soil retention.

Vibration control was a strong concern in this building and an extensive analysis was completed. A king post truss design for floor beams accommodates the strict vibration, mechanical and architectural requirements.

RDA successfully supported the architect’s vision of the globe inside the box with open dialog, provocative imaginings, and remarkable results. The iconic expression of the weightless orb is a true mark of the successful collaboration of the building’s team.

  • Credits
  • Location – Ypsilanti, MI
  • Completed – 2011
  • Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI – Owner
  • Lord Aeck & Sargent Architecture – Ann Arbor, MI Office – Architects
  • Christman Constructors, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Erik R. Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

Kresge

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

Globe Dry Dock Buildings Renovation

 Structural Survey of historic masonry and steel frame factory buildings for adaptive reuse into an “interior” State Park and DNR offices. The Globe offers a unique silhouette on the Detroit River. RDA worked with the Architect (Hobbs+Black) to preserve and integrate portions of the historic masonry façade by designing solutions to retain them, allow for insulation and integrate current code requirements.
Peer review of existing Structural Survey that deemed the structure unfeasible for renovation because of the extent of the repairs. RDA reassessed the conditions to develop a feasible strategy for reuse and repairs. Developed Schematic Design and Specifications that received bids within budget.
The Globe Building, which is home to the new William H. Milliken State Park and Harbor Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, was awarded the Engineering News-Record Midwest’s Best Project of the Year in Renovation/Restoration for 2014.

  • Credits
  • Location – Detroit, MI
  • Completed – 2014
  • Award – ENR Midwest’s Best Project of the Year in Renovation/Restoration for 2014
  • Michigan DNR, Lansing, MI – Owner
  • Hobbs+Black Architects, Ann Arbor, MI – Architects
  • The Roxbury Group, Detroit, MI – The Developer
  • Erik R. Majcher, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

Albion College Science Complex

The Science Complex at Albion College, Albion, MI was a project consisting of the renovation of three existing classroom/lab buildings with the construction of a new state of the art lab structure and green house. There is approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of renovation and 64,000 sq. ft. of new construction. The four building complex is connected through a large glass atrium allowing for a large indoor space with outdoor qualities. The building houses biology, chemistry, geology, math/computer science, and physics.The Science Complex is a LEED Silver certified project by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building, which incorporates sustainable materials, is being used as a Living/Learning Center with scientific displays highlighting alternative energy uses. There is a wind turbine solar power collection station and a solar water heating collection station. We are capturing rain water for use in the building and have an Energy Star compliant roofing system. The project was also designed to meet the goals of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL). It facilitates interdisciplinary research and collaboration and puts science on display.

 

  • Credits
  • Location – Albion, MI
  • Completed – 2006
  • Albion College, Albion, MI – Owner
  • MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni, Pittsburgh, PA – Architects
  • Christman Construction, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Nadir Makhlouf, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Project Manager

Brody Hall Addition and Renovation

The client’s goal for the project is a dynamic environment celebrating student life while embodying a commitment to accessibility and sustainability.The new 20,000 sq. ft. addition anchors a neighborhood of six surrounding dormitories. The addition features a two-story atrium/lobby along the east side with a projecting elliptical grotto space.The existing two-story food service building underwent a complete interior remodeling and re-configuration of the spaces. Occupation of the building was uninterrupted during the school year.

The whole team worked well together with the favorable outcome of completing the project ahead of schedule and under budget.

  • Credits
  • Location – East Lansing, MI
  • Completed – 2010 and 2001
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI – Owner
  • Design Plus, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI – Architects
  • Clark Construction, Lansing, MI – General Contractor
  • Robert M. Darvas, SE, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer
  • Stephen M. Rudner, PE, RDA, Ann Arbor, MI – Structural Engineer

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.

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