A well-known historic structure and Seattle’s oldest major public building, the King County Courthouse was found to have several deficiencies that would hinder County operations in the event of an earthquake. Acting as prime consultant, our firm underwent a seismic stabilization effort on the 12-story structure to improve its strength, stiffness, and ductility in such an event. We developed several innovative techniques to control costs, anticipate potential obstacles, and ensure preservation of the facility’s historical features by implementing designs never before used on an existing building in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, in the east-west direction, we added buckling restrained brace frames to six bays at each floor for stiffness and energy dissipation. The floors were also equipped with fluid viscous dampers. Thanks in part due to our detailing all of the steel pieces, the contractor had maximum flexibility in erecting the structure, allowing over half of the building to remain functional during construction.
SMR Architects, Skanska
NWCC- "Leneas Safety Award" 2004, Northwest Construction- "Best Renovation Project" 2004, NWCC- "Best Project Over $10 Million Dollars" 2004, NCSEA- "Excellence in Structural Engineering" 2005