CSD served as Erection Engineer for the new Ismaili Center, located in Houston, Texas. With a contemporary design incorporating large open atrium spaces framed with structural steel connected to a largely concrete structure, the Ismaili Center’s design uses unique geometry that required careful review of the partially completed structure.
The Prayer Hall is an open outdoor space with a floor structure supported on deep plate girders arranged in a diamond pattern. This structure supports built-up plate columns in the form of a star that are 40’ tall, carrying a roof framing that uses a triangle layout.. The steel structure does not incorporate a lateral force resisting system, because the floor and roof level use cast-in-place concrete diaphragms that would not be installed until several months after the completion of steel erection. In addition, the Atrium uses stacked planar Vierendeel trusses to create a large tall open space. Similar to the Prayer Hall, lateral bracing and stability are provided by cast-in-place concrete slabs that will not be installed until well after erection is complete.
The construction engineering aspects of this project required careful review of the partially completed structure of the Prayer Hall and Atrium, the design of fabricated temporary bracing, and lifting of heavy trusses. The unique geometry, missing load path, and long-term schedule created unique engineering challenges for the partially completed structure.