2007 Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association award winners -- Seattle DJC.COM

Special Applications Technical Merit

Photo courtesy of Seattle Structural PS
New concrete aprons around the aquarium are strong enough for occasional truck loads.

Pier 59 Aquarium renovation

Location: Seattle waterfront

Owner/developer: Seattle Parks

Project team: Turner Construction Co., general and concrete contractor; The Miller|Hull Partnership, architect; Seattle Structural PS, structural engineer; Glacier Northwest and Stoneway Concrete, ready-mix suppliers

The 100-year-old pier holding up the Seattle Aquarium was failing and had to be replaced or the aquarium would be forced to relocate. The solution was to create a code-compliant lateral system made of a concrete moment-resisting frame with 120 steel-cased concrete piles. The project included 12,000 square feet of new concrete aprons and 18,000 square feet of exhibit space framed in concrete.

Concrete was used because it holds up to harsh saltwater environments. A minimum of 3 inches of concrete cover was used at exposed soffit areas to delay corrosion of reinforcement steel well beyond the 50-year design life of the structure.

The project included an east-end slab measuring 18 inches thick that supports the aquarium’s new Window on Washington Water exhibit, which is a giant tank with a 2,000 psf load. The east end was also expanded with a dropped slab to accommodate a raised floor system.

Concrete was also used on the elevator core, electrical vaults and sewage ejector pits, which become submerged during high tide. More than 3,000 cubic yards of concrete were site cast for the project.

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