Milman & Associates Limited was retained by H.H. Angus to assess the safety and the load capacity of the existing cooling tower structural steel frame above the boiler house at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario.
The reason for the structural review was to assess the structural integrity of the existing cooling tower steel frame, and to determine whether it was able to support the existing cooling tower and a proposed transformer platform. In addition to the existing cooling tower, client would like to propose a two more cooling towers on the roof. A detailed site inspection was performed to verify the existing structural framing, since drawings were not available.
Working without existing structural drawings is always a challenge. It requires a thorough and careful site investigation in order to identify the structural system and to measure all elements. Since it is often difficult, logistically, to construct reinforcement within an existing building, it is important to carefully plan the new design and load transfer to the existing structure and the proposed additional cooling towers in order to minimize the effects to the existing building. Primary work was to determine if the existing cooling tower steel support platform is still structurally safe to use considering having severe corrosion. Site investigation and analysis were performed and showed that main supporting beams are not capable of supporting the existing cooling tower. Secondary work is to design a new steel platform that will support the existing cooling tower and the proposed transformer. Tertiary work is to analyze and to install two new cooling towers on the roof adjacent to the existing cooling tower with the new transformer.
The challenge was to design the new platforms in order to distribute the loads to the existing structure which it can safely support.