As the world moves from paper filing to electronic data storage, the need for large capacity mission critical facilities has grown. These facilities have become the backbone of organizations’ operations and they must be reliable. At Walter P Moore, we work with owners to find the right balance between system reliability and cost. Whether its tornadic wind forces, secure design or sustainability, we develop design criteria that best suit the owner’s concerns, while maintaining the structure’s economic viability. These facilities have many unique design considerations. They commonly include large open spaces, which call for longer span structures to minimize column interference. Special considerations are also required in the design of the roof framing to accommodate movement due to temperature and shrinkage effects, while also minimizing expansion joints.
Some owners choose to modify an existing building for their new mission critical facility. This type of adaptive reuse often requires strengthening of horizontal framing members and columns to support the heavy loading of a mission critical facility. Many existing structures also have lower ceiling heights than a typical mission critical facility, which squeezes the room MEP has to run their system. Strengthening existing building’s lateral wind resisting system may also be needed.