enr bestThe Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida has been awarded the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Best of the Best Cultural/Worship Project for 2017. This project had previously been awarded an ENR Southeast ‘Best of’ Award before moving on to national consideration.

Iowa-based McClure Engineering Company (MEC) designed the exterior cladding for the Gulf Stream Aquarium vessel attached to the museum, a 100-foot wide 500,000-gallon cone-shaped aquarium that required a 25-hour continuous concrete pour.

MEC worked in conjunction with Radius Track Corp., Kenpat USA, Kotronis Consulting LLC, and the Steel Network to tackle the unique challenges of this project, including the design of custom curved cold-formed steel framing of the façade, unique structural attachment to the existing structure, and harsh weather considerations.

“Any project we work on with Radius Track goes beyond the industry standard,” said MEC’s Patrick Earney, P.E., S.E. “For example, the cladding system was uniquely designed for drift, which allows the structure to move without causing failure of the cladding system. The cladding system itself weighs nearly 40 lbs. per square foot and is all hung instead of being supported by the floor or ground.”

The entire vessel, as well as the exterior surfaces of the museum, were missile tested using 9 lb. 2x4s shot out of pressurized air cannon to simulate high impact projectiles that could strike the building during a hurricane.

Winners of the ENR Best of the Best Awards will be honored at the Best of the Best Projects Awards Banquet in New York City April 5-6, 2018. To learn more about the event and to view a complete list of award winners, visit http://www.enrawardofexcellence.com/.