LHC Structural Engineers
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Location: Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Budget: $25 million
Size: 64,000 sf new construction (93,000sf total)
Year Completed: 2006

LHC collaborated with BMS Architects on the design of expansions to all three of the state owned North Carolina Aquariums. The most recent at Pine Knoll Shores was the largest at $25 million. The expansion tripled the size of the facility and includes a 50,000 gallon tank, a 306,000 gallon tank, a 32-foot high waterfall and several special exhibits. The building utilizes a variety of structural systems. Tanks and surrounding exhibit and access areas are constructed of cast-in-place reinforced concrete with epoxy coated reinforcement. Roofs for much of the exhibit areas are framed with precast concrete hollow core planks, beams and columns. Several special exhibits and assembly spaces feature exposed glue laminated wood arches. The entry pavilions and pedestrian bridge are frames with pressure treated timber. Out buildings are framed with glue laminated beams spanning to load bearing block walls.  Spread footing foundations are used for most of the building, with auger cast concrete pile foundations utilized at the heavily loaded tank areas.

Architect: BMH Architects
Photography: LHC and BMH