The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) named the Seattle Public Utilities' North Transfer Station Tipping and Transfer Building (NTSTT) a recipient of the 2018 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) National Award. Considered the American steel industry’s highest honor, this annual competition recognized just 12 outstanding projects across the United States, and the NTS was the only National Award winner in its category of less than $15 million.
The Station’s new 67,000-square-foot tipping and transfer building superstructure design was a structural engineering partnership between Integrated Design Engineers and CDM Smith. The project required several creative solutions and advances in the use of structural steel to meet the project’s goals.
This included 200-foot long-span roof trusses that allowed SPU to uphold its community agreement that the new facility would be no taller than the existing building, and the “floating corner,” a 50-foot cantilever truss and a 120-foot main transfer truss system that supports the weight of the building at its southwest corner without any supporting columns or walls to allow truck entry. The building’s tri-chorded roof truss system contains 90 tons of ASTM A1085 HSS steel—the largest and most complicated use on the West Coast at the time of construction.
“Overall, the steel elements create an organizational framework and visual interest that defines the open space and thus becomes a significant part of the architectural aesthetic,” said Pierce McVey, lead architect at Mahlum.
The North Transfer Station rebuild may be one of the most beautiful and community-friendly dumps in America. Located in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, the rebuilt Station fulfills Seattle Public Utilities’ goal to both modernize the 1960s facility and be a good neighbor—despite processing 750 tons of waste and recyclables on site every day. The Station includes the new tipping/transfer building, a reuse/recycling building, administration building, and a community playground. Its grand opening was held on December 10, 2016.