Project Profile: Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center



Firm name: Karpinski Engineering

Project building name and location: Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Type of building and type of project: Convention Center/Medical/Commercial, New Construction and Renovation

Project completion date and project duration: 2013 (estimated)

Engineering challenges and solutions:

Project was designed under a “Design-Assist” mode with sub-contractors on board during design after bidding on a GMP set of design documents in November of 2010. This allowed the project to be completed within a set budget and it allowed demolition and site work to commence in 2011 prior to completion of final construction documents.


The Convention Center is an underground facility. One power company served the Convention Center and the Malls above were served by another power company. Solution – in order to route feeders for the Malls above from an adjacent public building fed by the second power company, very close coordination with the Landscape architect was required – at some points only 18” of earth was planned for above the waterproof membrane.


Also because this is an underground facility, air intake was an extreme challenge. Approximately 30 air intake stacks ranging from 15 to 25 feet are planned. As the above ground Malls were designed, these stacks not only changed shape, but location many times.


The ground water drainage system was located under the facility, presenting a challenge to the Civil Engineers since they normally do not design such systems under a building. Our Plumbing Department assisted in the de-watering design with input on proper water removal from an interior perspective.


The facility was also challenging from a structural perspective, so our Mechanical Department had to closely coordinate with the Structural Engineers. 3D coordination proved extremely helpful.


Before demolition could occur, separation of the existing Convention Center from an adjacent public building had to occur. Common services included medium voltage power, emergency power, chilled water, steam, air, hot water, natural gas, water, fire protection, storm and sanitary. Solution – an early bid package providing new services to the public building allowed removal of existing services prior to commencement of demolition. Most challenging was electrical. Space to create a new main electrical room was required so a new utility service and related switchgear could be installed in the facility. Although significant due diligence was performed during the feasibility phase, the Design-Assist Electrical Contractor proved invaluable determining the origin of interrupted feeders and circuits that were not accessible prior to commencement of construction.


3D modeling / BIM Execution plan allowed consultants to produce drawings in many different software platforms. Solution – clash detection occurred in a third party platform – Navisworks.


This project was a true team effort – consultants from coast-to-coast were involved, many giants in their own right.


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