McLaren Engineering Group was hired to renovate an existing warehouse building, that occupies an entire city block, to house the Animal Care & Rescue Center for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The center provides care and rehabilitation for up to 5,000 animals through the marine animal rescue program. The project doubled the capacity it previously had for the rehabilitation of rescued animals for release. The facility also serves as an additional program space for the Aquarium, with behind-the-scene access to portions of the facility for visitors.
McLaren’s work involved two major aspects of the new Animal Care & Rescue Center: the relocation of a loading dock and the extension of an existing mezzanine. McLaren’s team created a new two-story space, providing an additional level of framing in such a way as to maximize available head-height.
The McLaren team was able to eliminate additional costs that would have resulted from foundation modifications by proposing a soil investigation to determine the foundation strength on this adaptive reuse project. Results from the investigation found that the foundation was strong enough to support the added weight from the new mezzanine level. McLaren was involved throughout the entire redesign process, from the initial structural feasibility study prior to the acquisition of the property, to the review of the contractors’ work at the project’s completion.