Industry News

JDA Project Wins United States Air Force Merit Award for Facility DesignEglin Variable Height Tower

Published: 9/19/2018

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This project consisted of the design of a steel-framed, dual-structure lifting tower system that can raise a research laboratory, equipment and personnel from ground level to 80ft above ground level and lower them back within a time limit of 5-10 minutes.  The highest framing members of the tower are 94 ft above ground level. Ultimate design wind speed is 141 mph. 

The Laboratory is guided by 4 rails attached to the Towers. Wheels are fixed to the laboratory building, located in the 4 corners of the laboratory building at the roof and floor levels.

The towers are designed with the stiffness criteria required by the Scope of Work, specifically to deflect no more than 100 microradians in a 5 mph wind. Beyond that the towers will resist  150 mph wind loads, which is the requirement of the applicable building codes, ASCE 7-10. Although not a requirement, the laboratory may be at full height during the 150 mph. That strength is a byproduct of its stiffness.

A hydraulic lifting system (by others) with a max design lifting capacity of 20,000 pounds is included in the project. All steel members were hot-dipped galvanized and shop welded connections were used at all possible locations. A stair system for pedestrian access from ground level to the top of the tower was designed integral with the tower.  The foundation system for the two tower components consists of two large concrete mats with a max thickness of 4'-3". 

Architect: Heffernan Holland Morgan


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