Disaster has found a home in a small, southern town. Here, one finds a grim cityscape, where compromised tilt-up constructed buildings sit along a city block in various states of collapse, serves as a jarring reminder of the potential adversity faced in the wake of catastrophe.

However, this particular scene is not a result of recent tragedy or even the set of Hollywood’s latest apocalyptic blockbuster. It is a carefully designed and constructed facility representing the numerous challenges our nation’s first responders and emergency personnel could face following a major calamity.

The one-of-a kind, privately-funded disaster training facility that will provide professional and volunteer first responders from government and private agencies across the nation, with real-life scenario disaster training. Training will encompass response needs resulting from natural disasters as well as acts of terrorism. In addition to the urban setting of the collapsed structures, the training complex includes a residential setting that can be flooded to facilitate water rescues, a highway, a subway system, helicopter pad and command center. The facility can provide training for up to 5,000 responders at any given time.

Dayton Superior’s engineering services group was provided the panel plans for the project from Tucker-Kirby. Having worked with Dayton Superior on numerous tilt-up projects, Tucker-Kirby knew they could rely on Dayton Superior’s engineering expertise for solutions to the project’s challenges.

Because of the atypical panel design and placement, Kevin Couch, Product Applications Designer with Dayton Superior, approached the panels from a precast perspective. A standard tilt-up layout would require inserts with a safety factor of 2 to 1, but since these panels would potentially be lifted more than once, precast inserts with a safety factor of 4 to 1 were the answer. This safety factor and use of Dayton Superior’s T110 Lifting System also allowed the contractor to lift the panels flat and force them into the final angled positions. Because of the many “broken” panel edges, a large amount of inputs were used and significant time was taken in developing the calculations for the panel’s exact insert locations, so that each panel would lift correctly.

“This one-of-a-kind project presented unique challenges that Dayton Superior’s engineering services met by providing detailed calculations to ensure proper insert locations and panel placement resulting in a successful lifting solution that performed exactly as the contractor requested,” said Kevin Couch.