Congratulations to our 3rd Quarter Challenge Award Winners!

04 November 2016
Q3 2016 challenge awards


Walter P Moore congratulates our third round of Challenge Award winners for 2016! Begun in 2015, 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


And the winners are...


1  //  GSA Region VII Pavement Assessment Program
Winning Team  //  Doug Coenen (Houston)  //  Chong Ooi (Houston)  //  Mike Shawen (Houston)
Al Hajka (Austin)

In June of 2014, Doug Coenen received a call from an architect client who told him that the GSA would like for him to travel to Dallas to “pick his brain” on a new project. Doug flew up the following week to meet them. During this meeting, the GSA asked how he would develop a pavement assessment program for all of GSA Region VII.

GSA Region VII stated that no GSA region in the nation has such a program, and that they would like their region to be the first. GSA Region VII needed this to better help them understand budget forecasting for their properties. Doug explained his thoughts. GSA Region VII thanked him and let him know that they were speaking with several other engineering firms to get their thoughts as well. Doug followed up with them the next day with additional information. A few months later, GSA Region VII called and asked Doug if Walter P Moore could develop the program for them and perform this at the Ysleta Land Port of Entry in three months. We did just that.


Had no previous knowledge of this software

We were seen as the expert and had to become one in a very short time

We knew pavement design and pavement assessments, but putting together the budget forecasting with pavement deterioration for sites of this size and a client as demanding as the GSA is something else.

Fast track

Little time to learn

Little time to develop the actual program for the GSA


We now have a standard pavement assessment program that we may utilize for our sites and/or roadways. Previously, we had performed assessments that were based upon the engineer’s judgement. This process takes that away and is based upon factual information.


2  //  University of Texas Health Science Center UCT Addition
Winning Team  //  Hakim Bouadi  //  Domingo Moran  //  Enrique Vaca  //  Guang Yang  //  Jason Carpenter
(all team members are from the Houston office)

The University Center Tower (UCT) building at the University of Texas Health Science Center consists of a five-story parking garage and a 26-story office tower built in 1973. The sixth floor above the parking garage acts as a roof and is not accessible by vehicles for parking. The vertical expansion project, designed by WHR and Walter P Moore, consists of adding two stories to create approximately 40,000 SF of leasable medical office space above the existing top garage level. Also, the parking garage roof will be converted to a new parking level with 53 additional covered parking stalls.

The layout of the columns supporting the proposed addition was selected in order to minimize the need for structural upgrades to the existing reinforced concrete framing of existing UCT parking garage roof. Structural upgrades to the existing reinforced concrete pan joists roof structure of the existing parking garage, that will support the structural framing of the new connector between the proposed addition and the existing tower, may be required. Additional analysis of the gravity load carrying capacities of the existing roof structural framing will be undertaken as the design progresses.

Walter P Moore Diagnostics is involved in the structural design of the new addition, the design of structural modifications and existing garage roof strengthening, and new traffic coatings and roof waterproofing design. Walter P Moore Parking is designing the new roof parking, as well as improving the traffic flow and parking layout.


3  //  Charleston Gaillard Center Transformation
Winning Team  //  Ryan Seckinger (Washington, D.C.)  //  Tom Yost (Washington, D.C.)  //  Bret Busse (Washington, D.C.)  //  Robert Wilkins (Washington, D.C.)


Engineering Renewal at the Gaillard Center
Walter P Moore intelligently renovates an aging and deteriorating performing arts venue, garners a new client in a new region, and delivers a like-new, market-leading venue for the Charleston region, demonstrating all five coordinates in the process.


Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s most historic cities, and has long-been known as a leading investor in the arts. It is home to the Dock Street Theatre, which was established in January 1736, making it the first theater in the United States. From hosting the very first opera performance in the United States to now hosting the annual Spoleto Festival, for decades Charleston hosted a broad array of world-renowned performing arts events. Unfortunately in recent years this has not been the case.

When it opened almost a half century ago, the Gaillard Center was a state-of-the-art auditorium facility that undergirded Charleston’s long commitment to the arts. The years took a toll, however, and over time the performance hall could not keep up with the city’s arts growth, and in fact hindered it. Inadequacies in size, sound quality, accessibility, and the overall experience for theater patrons contributed to Charleston’s decline as a center for the arts, and in turn, economic decline for the region.

With this revitalization project, the Gaillard Center been restored and transformed into a world-class performance venue that has propelled Charleston into a nationally prominent center for the arts. The project partially demolished the original Gaillard Municipal Auditorium and replaced it with a state-of-the-art, four-level, 1,800-seat performance hall, an updated 18,000-sf exhibition hall and new banquet facility. The adjoining new 61,000-sf civic office building houses the City of Charleston’s new Emergency Operations Center.

As structural engineer for this renovation and transformation, Walter P Moore surmounted the numerous technical challenges inherent of an aging structure that was not designed for the extreme seismic forces of South Carolina nor the potential for flooding and hurricane force winds. In addition, the site soils are weak and subject to liquefaction.

In response, Walter P Moore engaged its firm-wide platform of specialized expertise in demolition, building assessment and rehabilitation, foundation strengthening, structural design for seismic and hurricane forces, and integrated 3D BIM modeling to ensure that the structural systems are efficient, affordable, and seamlessly incorporated into the complex performance venue. We used lean design principles including pull planning to plan each phase of the project, and provided extensive onsite services throughout construction to deal with the plethora of unexpected challenges faced during restoration of an existing building.

The Gaillard Center re-opened in 2015 to rave local and national reviews, and has contributed an estimated annual economic impact of $40 million in direct and indirect spending for Charleston. By using intelligent renovation and retrofit rather than a complete teardown and replacement, Walter P Moore helped deliver a world-class performing arts venue for a fraction of the cost of a new venue, saving the City of Charleston an estimated $65 million.


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