PDC provided complete mechanical, electrical, civil, and structural engineering design services for the renovation and new addition for the Chena Flood Project Office located in North Pole, Alaska. This 7,200 sf. building designed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a multi-use facility serving as project offices, maintenance and storage facility for associated maintenance vehicles, equipment serving the flood project, and as a visitor’s center for the public providing educational and informational displays of the flood project and the surrounding area.
The structural design included a 43ft. by 60ft. visitor center addition to the east side of the building, as well as a heavy timber entry canopy at both the employee and public entrances. The slab in the garage bay and offices was replaced with a new heated concrete slab on grade to match the new flooring of the addition. The addition consists of roughhewn heavy timber interior columns, beams, and 2×8 exterior stud walls. The height of the addition is higher than the existing facility causing snow drift loads on the existing roof. New roof trusses were designed to handle this additional load. The building is an example of a heavy timber “Alaskan architecture” type of structure. Close coordination was required between mechanical, electrical, structural, and architectural elements to achieve an efficient, visually appealing integrated design solution.
The building mechanical design includes an indirect oil fired ventilation system for demand based ventilation in the vehicle storage bay controlled by a carbon monoxide sensor, a demand based ventilation system for the visitor’s lobby controlled based on CO2 levels, and an energy efficient masonry type heater installed in the lobby and faced with local river rock with superior latent heat properties.
The electrical design incorporated redirection of the electrical service with provision for solar power input, special display lighting systems in the lobby, direct/indirect pendant mounted lighting, energy efficient lighting controls, and revision of the emergency generator system.