The National Personnel Records Center


U.S. General Services Administration - Region 6 (The Heartland - IA, KS, MO, NE)


Completion Date

Construction Cost
$112 million

Project Size
500,000 SF


The National Personnel Records Center

St. Louis

Walter P Moore provided complete structural engineering services for the new National Archives and Records Administration Services National Personal Records Center as part of a designbuild team to meet the requirements of the General Services Administration. The new building replaces the existing NARA facility while providing an enlarged records storage space and office space for several other government agencies.

Our fundamental challenge was to create a 2.8 million cubic feet structure to securely store 57 million paper personal records, mainly of US military personnel. In addition to the weight of the records and their high-density retrieval systems, we had to create a structure that was safe from fire, earthquake, and progressive collapse due to blast loading. The client - GSA and their client NARA - were quite sensitive to the structural integrity since a 1973 fire in another NARA building had damaged or destroyed 15 million records. This building also sits just two miles from the active New Madrid fault requiring high seismic design requirements.

We responded with a 45ft tall warehouse space comprised of an economical tilt-up concrete panels for both exterior and interior partition walls that create 15 separate fire zones (total plan size is over 5 football fields in area). Long span roof joists efficiently minimized interior columns to streamline the use of the space. Tilt-up concrete panels were also used to support the 3-storey office space surrounding the warehouse. The efficiency of the structural system was key to minimizing the overall project cost and a successful project delivery.