State & Federal
Helena, MT’s new Federal Courthouse and Office Complex consists of two cutting-edge structures – Building One houses federal court rooms and related spaces, and Building Two serves as an office complex. The superstructure framing for both consists of structural steel for the upper floors and reinforced concrete for the main level. The foundation system for the structures has concrete foundation walls and columns supported on driven steel piles. With security a major concern for Federal buildings since the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, the design team of The Allred Group (architect) and RWC (structural engineer) in conjunction with the developer/builder SDA, Inc., incorporated several innovative structural safeguards into the Helena facility. Included were sheet-metal mesh backing in exterior walls and comprehensive structural redundancy – destruction of a column or beam would not result in structural failure since adjacent structural elements will absorb the required forces.