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    L. Robert Kimball & Associates

    Drexel University: Armory Athletics and Convocation Center

    United States

Project Summary

As part of a USD 71 million conversion project, the feasibility study required L. Robert Kimball to evaluate options to lower the existing floor level of the 1916 armory facility approximately 14 feet. To maintain the historical integrity of the building and reinforce the structure with limited space outside the building footprint on an aggressive project schedule within a tight budget, L. Robert Kimball needed engineering analysis tools to conduct its study quickly and select the most efficient choices to provide Drexel University (Drexel) a cost-effective solution to alter the facility.

After creating an initial structural model, L. Robert Kimball used Bentley RAM Elements (formerly RAM Advanse) to analyze different options to redistribute the loads around the new configuration, eliminating the tension tie securing the existing trusses. Bentley’s flexible design and analysis software enabled Kimball to quickly and efficiently perform its feasibility study and provide Drexel the results to make an informed decision regarding the adaptive reuse of the facility. Ultimately the truss system was determined to be the most cost-effective solution to lower the floor level because the impact on the existing trusses was minimal.

Using Bentley RAM Elements to quickly explore several different design options helped L. Robert Kimball find a cost-effective solution for the owner to adaptively reuse the armory building, while keeping the project on schedule and within budget. The conversion of the facility is a recycling effort that will enhance and centralize student and community life with another venue to host events and activities in the Philadelphia region.

L. Robert Kimball used RAM Elements to analyze the existing armory facility and explore design solutions to lower the floor level approximately 14 feet. RAM Elements allowed Kimball to quickly redistribute loads and identify the resulting stresses to determine a course of action that met the study’s structural challenges, while keeping the project on schedule and within budget. Bentley’s flexible engineering analysis tools enabled L. Robert Kimball to evaluate different options and provide Drexel with a cost-effective method for converting the building while maintaining its historical integrity.
  • L. Robert Kimball used RAM Elements to provide Drexel a cost-effective solution to convert Philadelphia’s historic armory building into an athletics and convocation center.
  • RAM Elements enabled L. Robert Kimball to quickly conduct a feasibility study exploring design solutions that met the complex structural challenges, preserved the historical integrity of the building, and kept the project on schedule and within budget.