Lick-Wilmerding High School, Expansion & Renovation

Forell|Elsesser provided structural engineering services for the renovation and expansion of the Lick-Wilmerding High School campus. The new 53,000 GSF campus includes adding additional classroom and administrative space, which will help improve indoor environmental conditions as well as create a more sustainable and resilient campus.

The renovation and expansion of the classroom building encapsulates a historic façade and adds an additional floor plate that increases student learning space. The administration building is a new one-story building with an open atrium that creates a warm and welcoming area for students, faculty and incoming guests. The space takes advantage of natural light from the open skylights, which are designed with a light structural steel roof. Additional renovations to the theater and science wing were made to increase the buildings resiliency and provide a safer structure.

The campus is targeting high sustainability goals which include Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum and net zero energy.

Customized Solution

  • The project included adding a new single story to the existing 2 story building. The new addition was designed to increase classroom space and provide ample space for roof equipment. During this process, the interior wood structure was removed, and the historic concrete façade was preserved.
  • The classroom building floors utilize Post tensioned (PT) concrete to help reduce the overall floor heights. The PT also allowed longer spans to keep the classroom spaces column free, and a thinner profile.
  • The new Administration building was seismically jointed from the classroom building, which allowed our team to creatively integrate the new roof design with the historic façade of the original classroom building.

LinkedIn Middlefield Campus

Forell | Elsesser Engineers provided structural engineering services for this 29-acre development which includes three new office buildings and two new parking garages. The new office buildings are six-story structures ranging from 225,000 s.f. to 300,000 s.f. totaling 762,000 s.f. The office towers are ornamented by two ground-level pavilions and a seating structure of wood and steel construction. Glulam beams with cross-laminated timber (CLT) roof panels are used to create a sail-like canopy that rests atop steel columns.

The steel-framed office structures include a buckling restrained braced frame (BRBF) lateral system. The office towers are supported on deep foundations with pile/pilecap system interconnected with grade beams. F|E is responsible for the full design of the foundation system including the concrete piles. The exterior wall undulates through the buildings resulting in significant cantilevers, ranging up to 15’-0”. All the office buildings will have an extensive roof garden on the third-floor terraces creating a “park-like” setting with trees and walkways.

Customized Solution

  • The pavilion and seating structure utilizes mass timber as a structural and aesthetic design solution. The Pavilion roof is designed with Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) supported on glulam girders. The roof has 5-ply CLT panels to support a double cantilever of ten feet and houses a café.
  • BIM was utilized not only for coordination within the design team, but also as a tool for material quantity takeoff to facilitate overall steel, rebar, and concrete weight takeoff at each major design milestone for cost comparison.
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used for cantilever design and vibration analysis to economize the overall framing design around the perimeter of each floor
  • F|E facilitated close coordination between the architect and the BRB manufacturer to provide custom pin connections at the interior BRBFs that remain exposed in finished condition.