Located along the east bank of the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the new $37 million CRST office building is a 12 story structure with three levels of parking ramps, eight levels of office space, and a one level mechanical penthouse. As the first major development along the Cedar River following a devastating flood in June 2008, the CRST building provides a welcome and dramatic change to the Cedar Rapids skyline. Built on the site of a former parking structure severely damaged by the flood, the new structure was built to withstand future flood events and provides breathtaking views of the river and surrounding urban landscape.
Due to the complexity of the project, a collaborative and comprehensive project approach and design was utilized. The building is located within an area that has a significant history of flooding, so a new 12-foot tall flood wall certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was constructed. The flood wall, which runs the entire length of the 200 block of First Street SE, is an important element of the Cedar River Flood Control System currently being developed. In addition, a new pump station and gate well were integrated as part of the project; both of which are significant pieces of the city’s new infrastructure system.
Completed in fall 2016, the CRST building offers 113,000 square feet of office space enclosed with glass curtain walls and terracotta panels. The glass allows in natural light, while the terracotta panels work to incorporate the building with the historic brick facades downtown Cedar Rapids. A total of 228 cars can be accommodated within the three-level parking structure.
The anatomy of the tower, parking garage, and flood control system are supported by reinforced concrete, post-tensioned concrete, structural steel, and driven steel pile. Current governing codes and design guides were utilized to evaluate the site, structural system, and other building systems. Proven and emerging engineering techniques were utilized to analyze and test the building design. Numerous planning, design, and construction entities collaborated to successfully execute the project.
As the structural engineering consultant, Shuck-Britson, a division of Snyder & Associates, was responsible for the design of the main structural support elements including foundations, columns, structural floors, roof enclosures, lateral load resisting components, flood wall, pump station, and gate well. Services provided by Shuck-Britson included schematic design, design development, construction documents, and construction administration. To accommodate a tight project budget and schedule constraints, value engineering was a critical part of the project. In addition, a fast-track design process was utilized to expedite the building’s construction.