The Library of Congress Annex located in Landover, MD, acts as a storage building for thousands of items significant to the history of the United States.  In order to obtain more storage space, the existing shelving units were redesigned and rearranged, providing room for the addition of new large pallet type shelving units for maximum storage capacity.

The Challenge

The existing building is a compilation of several different structural systems including structural steel mezzanines, open web steel joist roof members, and precast double tees within the main upper level storage rooms.  Over the years, different shelving types, sizes, and heights have been added, and the materials being stored vary greatly.  While base building structural drawings existed, the shop drawings for the precast double tees were not available to provide an exact structural capacity.  We were brought in to determine the number of shelving units that could be added to the space to maximize the storage capacity without compromising the structure.

The Solution

Structura performed an extensive survey of the existing shelving units and the types of storage material that are kept at the Annex.  Good engineering practice and judgment was required to make up for the lack of complete precast drawings. Using an iterative approach, Structura worked hand in hand with the architect, Streetsense, and the shelving company, Borroughs Corporation, to devise a plan for the most efficient shelving layout for the space that would not negatively impact the structure.

The Takeaway

Tenant improvements are not always cut and dry.  There is a requirement to provide the tenant with exactly what they need to function to the best of their ability, while keeping on a tight budget and ultra-fast timeline.  Working closely with all parties involved from the beginning helps make a project go more smoothly from start to finish.

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