Name: North Park Fitness Center
Location: Chevy Chase, MD
Role: Architect

Brief Description:

Ponte Mellor Architects provided design/build services for the construction of new rooftop fitness center at the North Park Avenue Apartment Building in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The work included design and building of a new 1,500 s.f. rooftop steel framed addition with complete and separate mechanical systems and rebuilding of the existing pool-house/sauna/bath to accommodate the new facilities. As the Architect for the project, Ponte Mellor completed design and went through a critical structures high/rise review process with Montgomery County. A complete life safety evaluation was performed, including recommendations to upgrade existing fire-safety measures for the existing building. Ponte Mellor's scope of design work included architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, fire suppression and fire alarm systems. Several alternative approaches were evaluated for design and constructability given the unique conditions of the building.

Technical difficulties for the project included a complex structural tie-in made necessary because a new steel structure was to be located on an existing post-tensioned concrete structure. This required an innovative structural design after ferro-scanning the building to locate tension tendons, reinforcing steel and column heads. A steel perimeter cage structure was designed and built to transfer loads of the new structure as point loads to bear on column heads assuring that the post-tensioning of the roof slab would not be affected. Constructing this structure required using a crane to deliver steel members and other materials to the rooftop (17 stories above grade) where fabrication could occur. For safety reasons, a temporary enclosure was built to ensure that rooftop fabrication could be accomplished using large steel members (up to 30 feet long and 16 feet above the roof deck). All electrical and fire safety upgrades were performed to bring the new structure and existing building to current code requirements. This aspect of the work included re-building bathrooms, a new sauna, improved ventilation and new egress (safe escape routes) paths for full code compliance for the rooftop fitness center/pool area.