Congratulations to our 2nd Quarter Challenge Award Winners!

28 July 2015
Q2 challenge awards


Walter P Moore congratulates our second round of Challenge Award winners! Started this year, the Challenge Awards were established internally and are held quarterly to recognize teams and/or individuals for outstanding performance in demonstrating some or all of the 5 Coordinates that define our “Driven by the Challenge” culture.

The 5 Coordinates
PEP Passion / Expertise / Performance
TIK Teamwork Integrates Knowledge
INO Innovation Not Optional
ECX Extraordinary Client Experience
HIP Stewardship

Although there were four projects chosen for Challenge Awards this quarter, one of these projects is confidential, so we are only able to share the stories of three projects with you for now.


1  //  Truist Park (formerly SunTrust Park), Digital Structural Design Delivery
Winning Team  //  Ben Cheplak (Atlanta)  //  Kyle Manweiler (Atlanta)  //  Sridhar Baldava (Austin)

In late 2013, the Atlanta Braves announced they were leaving Turner Field and moving into a new $662M ballpark to be built in northwest Atlanta, ready for the 2017 season. The design schedule was aggressive — almost twice as fast as comparable major league ballparks — so it was clear from the outset that a conventional structural design process would be neither possible nor successful to meet the accelerated timeline.

To address the primary challenges of achieving the compressed design schedule and managing the design-intensive, evolving complexity, and huge scale characteristic of MLB ballpark structural systems, the Walter P Moore structural team chose to use a digital design process. An advanced parametric modeling system (APM) allowed the team to react quickly to late-stage design changes and generate expedited project deliverables. The APM system also granted the team the ability to rapidly optimize the canopy tonnage as it correlated with the amount of bowl shading.

This innovative design tool allowed the team to bypass typical schedule bottlenecks since the raker geometry was generated automatically and simultaneously with the precast seating geometry. Overall, this connected workflow model is a powerful new design tool that our design team developed and branded as ‘the Bowl Generator.’ This tool is already being used to speed up the design and improve the accuracy of other Walter P Moore sports projects.

Walter P Moore’s delivery processes implemented on Truist Park demonstrate the power and importance of parametric modeling and digital workflow in an ever-demanding environment of new building construction. This project furthers our list of Major League Baseball parks (now totaling six) and reinforces our position as a pre-eminent structural designer of major sports facilities in the U.S.

Major league sports stadia have tremendous positive effects for their surrounding communities. Truist Park will occupy 15 acres of an overall 60-acre, mixed-use “sports and entertainment” development by the Braves, providing hundreds of thousands of visitors with a new and exciting fan experience.


2  //  George Thomas “Mickey” Leland Federal Building Renovation
Winning Team  //  Karim Zulfiqar (Houston)  //  Rachel Calafell (Houston)  //  Susendar Muthukumar (Austin)  // Sridhar Baldava (Austin)  //  Viral Patel (Austin)  //  Dirk Kestner (Austin)  //  Joe Gannon (Austin)  //  Jacob Bice (Dallas)

Walter P Moore’s wind expertise fueled the first-ever use of performance-based design (PBD) for wind to economically and sustainably renovate the George Thomas “Mickey” Leland Federal Building while it remained full of federal employees. Since the 1980s construction of the 22-story office tower in downtown Houston, more stringent new provisions for wind load have been added to the applicable Houston Building Code.

The plan by building owner General Services Administration to substantially renovate and re-skin the structure triggered the requirement to bring it into compliance, but the building could not meet the current higher criteria, even with substantial and expensive structural strengthening. The owner considered demolishing and replacing the building, but Walter P Moore used an innovative approach that proved much less expensive and more sustainable.

Leveraging four years of prior research by our R&D team into PBD for wind forces, we were confident that we could apply to this tower a design protocol often used for buildings in California to achieve a predictable level of performance under extreme seismic loads. Though our application of PBD for wind required that we educate and win the support of numerous constituents including the building official, in the end we created a path for a much more cost-efficient strengthening program, saving our owner substantial construction time and construction costs.

We collaborated with a leading wind consultant to evaluate the dynamic response of the tower for strength and serviceability under simulated storm wind loading. The recorded responses, called “time histories,” each represented 45 to 60 minutes of design storm. We supplemented the information on the existing construction documents with the data gathered by our diagnostics specialists to accurately model the lateral load resisting system.

A precise and credible analytic model was crucial to obtain realistic results that would be acceptable to the code officials. Non-destructive testing assessed the actual strengths of materials, which were included in the model. We then used a specialized program called PERFORM 3D to model the material non-linearity using force-controlled or deformation-controlled material behavior models. Using this innovative approach, our team was able to virtually eliminate the need for costly structural strengthening while still meeting the intent of the current building code. The savings were approximately 1,500 tons of concrete, 175 tons of reinforcing steel, and 350 tons of cradle-to-grave CO2 emissions that would have been generated as a result of producing this quantity of structural metals.

We then used our expertise in structural sustainability to help the building achieve LEED® certification. Though there is no predefined checklist category in the LEED rating system for our PBD wind approach, we were able to earn an “Innovation in Design” (ID) LEED credit, which was the first ever awarded for wind-based PBD and helped the building achieve LEED Gold certification.


3  //  Memorial Hermann Pearland Campus
Winning Team  //  Elizabeth Oliver (Houston)  //  Mehwash Abbas (Houston)  //  Patrick Worley (Houston)  //  Dee Causey (Houston)  //  Andy Yung (Houston)  //  Sachin Patil (Pune)  //  Nikhil Battuwar (Pune)

Walter P Moore provided civil and traffic engineering for the Memorial Hermann Hospital campus in Pearland, Texas. The new medical complex is on a 40-acre site and includes a “one-of-a-kind” convenient care center (CCC) and a 5-story professional office building (POB). The centerpiece of the campus will be a 64-bed acute care hospital that is expected to double in size in 7-10 years. Water P Moore was responsible for all site development, which included all infrastructure design for the proposed development plus plans for future growth.

The team was intimately involved in securing the TxDOT approvals for a new connection to the feeder road of SH 288, which will serve as the primary entry to the campus. This approval was critical for community access and the opening of the CCC facility in early February 2014.

Primary Challenges 

Maintaining the schedule and obtaining regulatory approvals to meet target dates. The CCC had a hard opening date in 2014. The POB will open in September 2015 and the hospital is schedule to open in March 2016.

Working with three general contractors and two architects on one site, delivering multiple packages.

Challenging topography, especially on the hospital and CCC portions

Walter P Moore had to prepare three sets of construction documents issued for different timeframes while making sure that the overall site infrastructure was well-coordinated as the GCs were building their respective projects. The WPM team also used Civil 3D and clash detection for all the utilities constructed in phases by the different contractors.



About the Challenge Awards
Submissions are open to all business units and corporate groups within Walter P Moore, with up to four teams/individuals awarded each quarter. Each award has both a cash and a charity component, with the charity being chosen by the winning team. To date, charity organizations have included United Way, Engineers Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, local food banks, and local ACE Mentoring Programs. However, each group is allowed to choose their own charity organization recipient.

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