Sustainable by design

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    Realization of the RadioShack Riverfront Campus

    Design & Construction  Team

    Project Name
    RadioShack Riverfront Campus

    Owner
    RadioShack Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas

    Structural Engineer
    Walter P. Moore, Dallas

    Architect
    HKS, Inc., Dallas

    Contractor
    The Beck Group, Dallas

    Project Manager
    Staubach, Dallas

    In 2001, RadioShack – to create an environment that would encourage teamwork, efficiency, and innovation – sought to move employees from a traditional urban high-rise to a modern, horizontal campus-style headquarters with open floor plans. Like many corporate relocations, this could have meant moving from the heart of the city to the outlying suburbs – and in turn, having a detrimental impact on the central city.

    The vision RadioShack’s vision went deeper. From its humble beginnings in the world of commerce in 1919, RadioShack has become one of Fort Worth, Texas’ major businesses and corporate citizens.

    This commitment to the city fueled the desire to make the project a major part of the sustainable mix of the city’s Trinity River Vision Master Plan.

    RadioShack committed to an environmentally friendly building program, a measure of which is the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED Certification. It wanted to meet the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    Located on a 34-acre master planned site on the south bank of the Trinity River in Fort Worth, the RadioShack Riverfront Campus has changed the look of downtown Fort Worth’s north end permanently.

    Serving approximately 2,400 employees, the 1 millionsquare- foot corporate headquarters features three, six-story office buildings, a commons building, a 2,400-space parking garage, and a flagship retail store, all interconnected by enclosed passageways and common areas.

    Sustainability To achieve the project goals, every design team member needed to know and understand the big picture” – the sustainable design goals of the entire project. This included outlining the environmental and sustainable goals of the project, and in this case, the team organized them by the LEED Rating System categories. This led to an efficient and integrated design.

    Structural engineering contributions – Walter P. Moore made comparative studies to choose the best structural system for each building – economically as well as environmentally. The office buildings and the commons building are concrete frames with wide-module, pan-joists floor systems and posttensioned girders. The garage has a post-tensioned slab and beam system. The selection of posttensioned systems reduced the structural depth required, thereby reducing the concrete quantities.

    A 30-foot by 125-foot curved concrete wall provides a signature feature, while supporting the structural steel curved roof of the RadioShack StoreOne retail showcase, one of the landmark gateways into the Trinity Uptown area. The section of the commons building that houses the broadcasting studios is structural steel. Structural steel also is used for the long-spans of the roof and for the connector buildings.

    Grade 75 reinforcement was used for bar sizes No. 6 and higher, reducing the overall tonnage by 15 percent. The reduction in the quantity of rebar also reduced the rebar placing costs and congestion of reinforcement.

    In the pre-construction phase of the project, the general contractor – together with the concrete suppliers and Walter P. Moore – thoroughly researched the use of high-volume fly ash in concrete.

    The fast-track nature of the project, the magnitude of the project (1,500,000 square feet of elevated slab formwork), and early strength requirement for post-tensioning posed challenges. Test slabs cast with different concrete mixes were extremely useful in devising strategies to tackle these challenges and in determining the percentages of the fly ash replacement. The final design included using 51 percent fly ash replacement in piers, pier caps, pilasters, and grade beams; and 20 percent fly ash replacement in slab-on-grade, elevated slabs, walls, and columns.

    In addition, the following sustainability requirements were added in the structural specifications: All concrete, reinforcement, posttensioning systems, and formwork used on the project must be manufactured regionally (meaning within a radius of 500 miles of the project) and this regionally manufactured product must be composed of materials that were extracted, harvested, or recovered within 500 miles of the project.

    Structural steel, concrete formwork, and all of the cardboard products used for piers must contain a minimum of 10 percent post-consumer recycled content, or items must contain combined post-consumer recycled content and half of the post-industrial recycled content totaling 20 percent or more.

    All paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants (such as concrete curing compounds, concrete admixtures, and structural adhesives) used on the project must satisfy the VOC content limits as stated in the LEED requirements.

    For the concrete formwork, 50 percent of new wood-based materials and products must be from stock certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria.

    Goal accomplished RadioShack Riverfront Campus, hailed as a one-of-a-kind development, incorporates a unique combination of architectural and other design features including functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability.

    The project has excelled in its implementation of environmental stewardship and overall contribution to the community. It is considered by all to be a huge success, completed on-time and on-budget.

    As a result, it has surpassed the original goals and expectations of the visionaries who conceived the project.

    As a result of a highly integrated design and construction process, the project is positioned to soon become the largest project in Texas to qualify for LEED Green Building Certification.

    If an owner’s satisfaction is the ultimate measure of success, then this project surely was one. A quote from RadioShack’s website: The RadioShack Riverfront Campus is a source of pride and inspiration for the company and its employees, its partners and business associates, and the people of the Fort Worth community.”