Fire Station & Social Hall

2011 Design Award Winner

Brunswick, MD

Structural Engineer
Allgaier, Menderhall, Smith


Steel Joist Manufacturer

Steel Fabricator
Waggoner Fabrication & Millwright

Project Description
The project is for a local fire station and social hall for the town of Brunswick, MD and the surrounding community. The project is comprised primarily of bowstring joists with extended top chords that extend out over the exterior walls up to 10’0″ in some locations. The longest of the bowstrings is approximately 120’0″, including the extended top chords. The project was initially over budget and the owner asked for value engineering suggestions. The joist manufacturer provided suggestions with regard to the joists and metal deck that saved the owner money and played a key role in helping the project move ahead.

What Makes This Project Interesting
This project features some very large bowstring joists measuring 7’6” deep with a base length of up to 96’0”, and a total length up to 120’0” considering the 12’0” top chord extensions on each end. Despite the size of the joists, they were built and transported as one piece without the need for splicing, which saved labor at the site and showcased the joists as one continuous structural member as they are exposed to view. The roof deck was value engineered to allow for the use of an NSA (N acoustic) deck, which provides an acoustic value and an aesthetically pleasing roof surface while maximizing economy.

Advantages Of The Chosen Structural System
The bowstring joists were designed to span the entire areas of the social hall and the apparatus bay of the fire station. This eliminates the need for columns in the interior of the buildings and helps open the interior up for each of those areas. Aesthetically, the curved appearance of the bowstring joists helps with the architectural effect on both the exterior and interior of the buildings. Further, the wide joist spacing, which was up to 18’0″ apart, for this project helps reduce the quantity of joists required as well as the number of supporting columns which lowered erection costs. Through the use of our 3 deep rib roof deck, the joists were able to be spaced this far apart and the economical value of our 3 deep rib deck compared to the originally specified roof  decking further added to the cost reduction for the project.

Project Scope
9 joists and 17 bowstring joists weighing a total of 67 tons and approximately 65 tons of metal roof and floor deck. Total delivered cost of joist and metal deck was $ 221,000.00.