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Project Highlight – SUNY Fredonia Carnahan-Jackson Center – Floor Structural Study

By February 22, 2023No Comments2 min read

Founded in 1826, the State University of New York at Fredonia, known for its strong academic programs, attractive architecture and grounds, and rich campus life, is located about an hour south of Buffalo, NY in the village of Fredonia.  The Carnahan-Jackson Center, located on the main campus, is a four-story building that was built in 1992 as an addition to the Reed Library.  Along with research materials, books, and media, the Jackson Center also houses the campus tutoring services, additional study areas, academic advisors, and disability support services.

Encorus was contracted to perform an evaluation of the Carnahan-Jackson Center’s existing concrete floor slab and columns prior to the installation of new mobile library shelving.  The mobile library shelving was intended to condense the archives, special collection and circulating collection, opening up space for other needs.

Structural engineers from Encorus Group performed an on-site assessment to make observations, take field measurements and photos, review existing building drawings, and interview staff members as part of the evaluations.  The 2015 International Building Code (IBC) specifies that library stack rooms should be designed for a minimum non-reduceable live load of 150 pounds per square foot.  ASCE-7-10 commentary suggests that mobile shelving units may exceed 300 pounds per square foot live load. Items that will increase the uniform load include a raised floor surface to hide the tracks required to install mobile library shelving. Two building elements were analyzed in this report, the two-way floor slab with drop panels and the columns.  Software utilized for the analysis included Tekla Tedds and spSlab software.

Based on the results of the structural analysis, the conclusion was that the floors and columns on all four floors of the building would need to be reinforced with concrete or steel to increase the load carrying capacity based on the weight of the proposed new mobile library shelving.  A detailed report was provided to the client summarizing the findings and recommending reinforcement of the structure prior to installation of the new shelving.

If you are in need of structural design services or have any questions, contact our Structural Lead Daniel Sarata, PE, at or at 716.592.3980 ext. 138.