Carl Walker Construction, Inc. was hired to design/build the structure to support the cooling towers on top of the parking garage for Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. When Duquesne University originally contacted us, the project had been partially designed to be on a separate structure adjacent to the garage and CWC was only asked to price the original design. Upon inspection, we found that the design was over-budget, so the facilities department asked us to come up with a better design within the limitations of not reducing parking quotas, and not interfering with any future development plans for the university.
Our team enlisted the original design engineer for the garage to develop the concept of placing the cooling towers 15’ above the parking garage, utilizing the existing structural steel columns and beams. In doing so, the cost for the cooling tower project was considerably lowered. CWC added bracing and stiffened the columns under the footprint of the new cooling towers, placing a concrete catwalk around the perimeter.
The challenges outlasted the design solution: the garage was still in active, daily use, and the new steel beams and column extensions had to be lifted to the roof level of a seven-story garage to be set in place.