When MD Anderson Cancer Hospital was built, the original plan was for 10 stories to be built and later add 10 more stories. The original foundation was designed for the 20 story building, so additional foundation design and construction was not required. Delta Structural Technology LLC. was contacted and asked if carbon fiber strengthening was a viable option. After a great deal of engineering discussion between the engineer of record and the Delta engineering team, it was determined that the elevator core of the building would indeed support the structure if strengthened. The original design was based on the core being the major support and the patient wings were cantilevered and supported off the core.
It was determined that carbon bars could be inserted and epoxied in place vertically in the core elevator shafts and carbon sheets epoxied in place horizontally for additional reinforcement. Numerous beams were also found to be deficient and also required strengthening. One of the major issues was that this is a working cancer hospital that could not be impacted or shut down as very sick patients were undergoing treatment during the construction. This requirement was realized by the tremendous interaction of the general contractor, architect, structural engineer, and numerous subcontractors. The project as successfully completed and the team received the ENR award for excellence as project of the year. This project demonstrated Delta’s ability to deliver design assistance and state of the are carbon fiber construction to allow the project to proceed and be completed.