McLaren Engineering Group helped transform two historic tobacco warehouse buildings in Winston-Salem, NC into a 240,000-square-foot LEED Platinum corporate headquarters and Class A office space, for the technology company Inmar. McLaren designed the conversion of the two-story industrial warehouse space into a four-story modern office space, on a 15-month design and construction schedule. The adaptive reuse design preserved the historic structure while accommodating Inmar’s high-tech environment.
McLaren’s team provided innovative structural and geotechnical engineering solutions for the adaptive reuse of this historical building. McLaren worked closely with the architectural designers to accommodate several signature design features including retrofitting the open warehouse space, modifying the existing structure to accommodate skylights, engineering a hovering conference room atrium surrounded by a series of glass curtain walls while re-purposing a mechanical dunnage structure, and designing the attachment for an architecturally-significant wall façade. The featured multi-story staircase in the central atrium was hung from the existing roof trusses to eliminate the need for columns in the open atrium space. McLaren utilized rigorous computer analysis to devise a scheme that increased the capacity of the existing roof trusses, and to design a sleek exposed staircase frame supported by hanger rods.
Early in the design phase, the State Historical Preservation Office notified the design team that the existing second floor slab of the warehouse had to be preserved, which reduced planned floor to floor heights from 14’ (standard for an office) to under 11’. With an innovative plan, the team designed a floor system solution, combining traditional framing systems into a slim floor package, further showcasing the firm’s creative spirit.
McLaren served as Geotechnical Engineer to perform additional soil testing in order to justify increased foundation capacities, allowing for the addition of two occupied levels without the need to modify the existing foundations, saving millions in anticipated foundation work.
During construction, additional damage was found on the historic roof and its trusses. McLaren mapped a detailed repair scheme for the contractor to follow as they encountered damaged regions.
For this fast-track design-build project, McLaren broke the project into three sequences to allow advanced steel drawing packages to be released to the contractor prior to completion of the Design Development phase of the project, accelerating the delivery of the building to the owner and tenant while keeping the project on-budget.