Silver Spring, Maryland

Holbert Apple Associates was the Structural Engineer of Record for the new approximately 145,000 sq. ft. middle school located in Montgomery County, Maryland.  The masonry-clad school was designed and constructed as four independent buildings separated by expansion joints, but interconnected to function as one building.  The four building elements include a two-story classroom wing, cafeteria and music room wing, gymnasium and locker room wing, and a media center/administrative wing.  The two-story classroom building consists of composite structural steel floor framing, open-web steel roof joists, and two-story X-braced lateral frames.  The remaining three one-story buildings consist primarily of open-web steel roof joists supported on reinforced CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) bearing walls that also serve as lateral shear walls.  Due to poor soil conditions, portions of the foundations were supported on rammed-aggregate piers with the remainder of the foundations consisting of standard spread footings.

Some unique structural design challenges included the intricate steel detailing required to the accommodate the varying roof elevations, circular main entrance vestibule, and hung masonry.  In addition, independent fire-rated concrete and masonry portal frames were designed to accommodate a single fire door at each of the four building expansion joints.

The Francis Scott Key Middle School is the first middle school in the state of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region to be LEED certified and the fourth middle school in the country to obtain LEED Gold.