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

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

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.

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