Category Archives: Construction

World Diving Trials held at FSU

The 2013 World Championship team101_5395 for the United States has been selected as USA Diving’s trials came to a close Monday, May 20th at Florida State University’s Morcom Aquatics Center in Tallahassee, FL.  In all, 15 divers will compete for Team USA at the worlds in Barcelona in July.  For a complete list of all divers and coaches that will compete in Barcelona, Spain in the FINA World Championships, please go to http://www.usadiving.org/whats-new/2013/05/15-divers-named-to-world-championship-team/

The Morcom Aquatics Center has also been the host for the USA Diving National Championship in 2009.

The aquatic design and engineering of the state-of-the-art facility was done by Counsilman-Hunsaker and opened up in 2008.  For more on the Morcom Aquatics Center, please go to:

http://www.seminoles.com/facilities/morcom.html  and

http://www.counsilmanhunsaker.com/projects/florida-state-university/#

 

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Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build?

Communities responsible for the creation of a new swimming pool and natatorium are often faced with choosing between a conventional AIA protocol of design programming, schematic design, design development and construction documents, bidding and construction administration as compared to negotiating with a sole source package pool installer (design-build).  One must be knowledgably about different manufacturers and their products that are somewhat different than each other as well as performance records in the field.

 The development protocol that will be chosen will produce different results at different costs, both in first cost and in life cycle costs.

 Frequently, life cycle costs are not taken into account during the construction phase because they will be met with other budgets. If these costs are examined, often they reveal a significant cash flow line item for the owner’s budget.

 Some General Observations:

 1.      Competition among companies has been the basis for obtaining quality construction at the lowest reasonable price for the owner. To achieve this goal, experienced owners have retained professional architects and engineers to serve as the owners advocate to create a professional set of bid documents based upon experience, knowledge and technical skills.

 2.      Design firms will develop a plan based upon years of history in the industry which benefits from the experience from hundreds of other similar facilities.

 3.      The advantage of the contract bid documents is that it invites qualified swimming pool contractors and dealer installers to compete head to head so that the owner is given the benefit of seeing what a number of options exist and everyone is agreeing that their price is for the same basic project.

 4.      Competition is the foundation of the free market system in America. Yet, most entities whether business, athletes, research scientist and even universities prefer to dodge competition on occasions. People that build swimming pools or no different. When any builder can avoid competitive bidding and negotiate instead with a buyer that does not have in depth knowledge of the seller’s product or what is available in the marketplace, the builder has an advantage.

 5.      The most important benefit of utilizing a design firm is their responsibility to the owner in creating the best facility to meet the owners requirements:

            a)      Functionality to accommodate current activities, future activities, potential activities and feature activities.

            b)      A combination of structural systems and mechanical systems that will minimize:

                     1.      Labor costs for operation and custodial tasks

                     2.      Replacement cost and frequency of replacements

                     3.      Flexibility of design that will accommodate changes in activities, rule and regulations and mechanical systems.

 6.      The goal of any engineer is to create a pool in natatorium which can be efficiently operated at a reasonable cost for the life of the complex.

 

In summary, no matter what direction the owner decides to go, knowledgeable planning is the most important phase of the entire process.

 

Will the Olympics Come Back to the US?

2024 is eleven years away but that hasn’t deterred the US Olympic Committee (USOC) from thinking about the future.  After a two repeated failed bid attempts (New York City in 2012 and Chicago 2016), the USOC recently sent letters to 35 mayors, inviting them to consider bidding for the 2024 Olympics.

“Our objective in this process is to identify a partner city that can work with us to present a compelling bid to the IOC and that has the right alignment of political, business and community leadership,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in the letter.

While this does not guarantee the USOC will officially bid for the 2024 games, this is their first step testing the waters and interest level.  The feedback and interest level of each city’s response will help determine if the US could potentially host its fifth Summer Olympics (previous US host cities include: 1904 – St. Louis, MO, 1932 – Los Angeles, CA, 1984 – Los Angeles, CA, & 1996 – Atlanta, GA).

The International Olympic Committee will vote on the 2024 Games sometime in 2017, giving the USOC four years to prepare – and they’ll need it. The US is not alone in their expressed interest in winning the 2024 games, Paris; Rome; Doha, Dubai; and Durban, South Africa have all thrown their hats in the ring.  For more information on the USOC’s letter, please read more here.

Short and Long Span Pool Structures

An indoor aquatic center is a building consisting of two or more rooms.  One room is the natatorium, which contains one or more pools. 

Indoor short span natatoria house short course pools and have a narrow width, around 100 feet.   Such a space can accommodate all types of pools as long as their widths are in the range listed above.  A short span across the building offers greater variety of materials in the relative cost range.  Concrete is considered a first choice for life cycle costs due to its total resistance to corrosion and its lifetime durability if properly engineered, constructed and coated.   A concrete roof system can be cast-in-place with beams and deck, it can be built up with precast T’s and precast planks or it can be a combination depending on the structural type of the building. 

When the natatorium width exceeds100 feet, the depth of the beam and its length begins to add significant costs for both fabrication and for delivery.  At these costs, alternative roof structural systems become attractive.  The most economical systems are steel trusses, which must be covered with a high-build epoxy coating to protect against corrosion.  Glulam beams with wood decking have been successful when the wood is properly processed and humidity in the natatorium is controlled.  Tensile roofs are successful in some building types if budget is available for first cost and environment control.  If a steel system is chosen, the trusses should be pipe or box-type.  Bar and angle joists are difficult to coat and recoat due to recesses and the high number of welds, bolts and webs.  Corrosion may occur in these poorly or non-coated points.

CannonDesign – Cost Trends

As most of us know in the recreation design industry, CannonDesign is a multidisciplinary international design firm.  Cannon’s December newsletter focuses on economic trends impacting design and construction.  It reviews unemployment rates, Non-residential Construction, GDP, futures, and construction cost values.  For those interested in a crystal ball look into 2013, I encourage you to take a look.

http://www.cannondesign.com/ecamp/2012/Cost_Trends/december_2012/hepg5.html