A solid waste transfer station uncommonly located in a residential neighborhood in Seattle has been selected as one of 12 winners of the AISC's 2018 IDEAS2 National Steel Design Awards. Established over 50 years ago, the prestigious awards are bestowed to building projects for outstanding structural engineering design.
The Seattle North Transfer Station, which receives approximately 400 tons of various materials, was built to modernize an original 1960s facility. Designed by the Pacific Northwest-based firm Mahlum, the trash dump is "“a great use of exposed steel and an excellent long-span application,” according to Stephen Csernak, a civil engineer who serves as the academic juror in the competition.
Tri-chorded steel trusses were used to meet low height requirements requested by the neighborhood and create the 200-foot clear spans necessary for a column-free tipping floor. Skylights are embedded along the top of each 6-foot-wide truss, distributing daylight evenly across the space. A wall of translucent polycarbonate panels above trash compactors and exhaust equipment along the south façade supplements the skylights.
Due to its congested site in a well-to-do residential area, the architects created a unique facility with community amenities and a mix of sustainable features. The certified LEED Gold building strives to connect the community to important functions of the station and hosts a community education room offering an interactive experience and viewing of operations at the facility. Plenty of open space—including a play area for children, a sports court, an open lawn, walkways and static exercise stations—was also incorporated into the scheme to bring the community into the process.
The North Transfer Station will be presented with their award during a ceremony to take place at the building on Thursday, September 27. They join the new ProMedica Corporate headquarters in Toledo, and Chicago's 150 North Riverside Drive tower, announced as fellow winners of the IDEAS2 Award earlier this year.
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