Engineering A Traffic Jam On A Parking Garage



Entech Innovative Engineering Designs and Engineers Urban Jam at

Miami Design District Parking Garage


By Jeff Stuckey

Entech Innovative Engineering


When traveling the areas in and around Miami, chances are you experienced a traffic jam or two on the way to your destination. Using the theme Urban Jam for the six-time art and structural award-winning project in Miami’s Design District made not only aesthetic sense for project partners Clavel Arquitectos and Entech Innovative Engineering, it also required sound engineering sense.

The museum’s garage facade includes 36 silver and gold car bodies bolted to one of the garage walls in a traffic jam pattern going nowhere for a long time. The Miami Design District is built with a high-end, sophisticated look and feel.

The developer solicited artists to come up with a look for the front of the parking garage. Entech Innovative partnered with architect Manuel Clavel to provide his firm with the cars complete with finished painted fiberglass bodies, functioning LED headlights and tailights for nighttime action, and undercarriage screen print replicas to complete the look when inside the garage.

Another important attribute needed to take on the complex project, with each car weighing close to 1,500 pounds, was how all this needs to withstand hurricane force winds to 135 miles per hour. Add all these requirements together and you get another award-winning specialty engineering project by Entech Innovative.

The project was recognized by Architecture Masterprize, National Parking Association, International Parking & Mobility Institute, Parking Industry Expo, Post-Tensioning Institute, and Associated Builders and Contractors.

When going through the technical design and engineering phase of this project, the initial challenge was to meet the local codes for overhang off the column face which was set at 4-foot 6-inches. This narrowed down significantly how these cars could get mounted to the mullion framework.

“The thought process had a lot of back and forth discussion, but finally was decided upon to hang these in place by spanning the mullion with a pipe engineered to support the reactionary loading of the cars,” said Justin Stehr, Entech Innovative’s Estimating and Business Development Director. “By going with this direction, this set Entech up for an ability to provide the installer an easy route to a successful install, as well.”

To prepare for the install, Entech hung each car before it was delivered to site on a gantry that was utilized in the shop facility. This would assure that each car was plumb and level for its arrival in Miami.

Entech also made assurances that when the cars were lifted into the air that the CG, or Center of Gravity, would not hamper the ability to install the car on the side of the garage, as well. “This was done by utilizing a custom-made armature that would attach at two of the wheel hubs, allowing hook plates to go over top of the pipe span with little assistance from a worker within the garage area,” Justin said.

A concern that was thought about for this entire project was the weight of the vehicles so that it did not become too much of a hinderance to the way the vehicles could be hung or installed. With this piece being outside in the climate of the seashore that Miami has, these cars were made of fiberglass with an aluminum framework on the inside.

Aluminum was chosen because it is lightweight, but bodes well for a material choice in that weather climate. “The aluminum was bolted together using stainless steel fasteners and Entech did a deep dive into galvanic corrosion to make sure this was the right choice,” Justin concluded. “After a thorough study of the nobility chart of Anodic and Cathodic metals, it was proven that the risk of galvanic corrosion was negligible.”

For more information about similar specialty-engineering projects by Entech Innovative, visit entechinnovative.com

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