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Selection Criteria

We informed the competitors in advance of the criteria which would be used in making the final selection. They had to meet our technical criteria or, if not, demonstrate why their design was superior technically and commercially. Their design had to be aesthetically pleasing; this of course was a subjective issue. Their fee structure should be comparable to those prevailing in the market, but this was negotiable, if other conditions were met. They had to demonstrate that our project schedule would be met.

Competition Outcome

All eight short-listed firms submitted their proposals. We opened these in the presence of the two executive directors. A three-person evaluation team selected the two best proposals, and listed their merits and shortcomings. The evaluation team presented their results and recommendations to the directors, who made the final selection.

The selected firm of architects had offered some innovative design ideas in their conceptual design. The roof structure design was even better than we expected, weighing about 6 lbs/sq ft. This would lower total costs by nearly 4%.

Folded Plate Design of Outer Walls

Figure 4.1 Folded Plate Design of Outer Walls

The outer walls were designed as a folded plate (see Figure 4.1). The folded plate design strengthened the relatively slim stone wall (about 18" thick) considerably. It was strong enough to withstand the bending and buckling stresses caused by the wind and roof loads. Folded plate designs are normally used for concrete roofs, but using them for the walls was an interesting concept.

The wall section on the inner part of the folded plate had large outward facing top-hinged window panels. The section of the wall forming the outer part of the folded plate walls had a large recess, which could be used for storage of tools, jigs, and fixtures (see Figure 4.1). A thinner outer wall section meant that fewer materials were required, so the walls would be cheaper.

The main columns were spaced at 70 feet x 70 feet. With this spacing, we anticipated some problems with rainwater disposal because the down-take pipes could at best be spaced every 70 feet. This problem had to be solved during the detailed design, and was a situation about which we were aware. The provision for natural lighting was excellent, with large window areas in the outer walls and the north light roof structure design. Aesthetically, their design was pleasing.

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