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S TA G G E R E D T R U SS

Profiles of innovative steel frame solutions

Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa


Groton, Connecticut

STAGGERED TRUSS

L OW F LOOR - TO -F LOOR H EIGHT S TEEL S YSTEMS

SteelSmart

S TA G G E R E D T R U SS

Mystic Marriott
Hotel & Spa

Location: Groton, CT
Architect: Brennan Beer
Gorman/Architects, L.L.P.
Structural Engineer: Wexler & Associates
General Contractor: Wolman Construction

System Overview

Staggered truss structural steel framing


is an excellent system for achieving the
low floor-to-floor heights necessary for
apartments, condominiums, hotels,
dormitories and senior residences. Each
staggered truss is one-story high and
extends the entire width of the building.
Trusses alternate from floor-to-floor,
and work in harmony with precast plank
that spans the top chord of one truss
and the bottom chord of the next. The
buildings only columns are found on the
exterior of the structure, which makes
the system ideal for rectilinear or curvilinear multi-story residential buildings
with a high degree of repetition in the
room layout.

KEY BENEFITS
Staggered truss arrangement allows
clear, column-free open spaces of 60
feet or more through the full width of
the building at every bay, on every
floor.
Entire ground level of the building
is completely column-free, providing
more design freedom.
This lightweight steel and plank
system reduces foundation and
seismic loads by 20% or more, resulting in a significant reduction in foundation construction and cost.
An 8-thick floor system achieves
the lowest attainable floor-to-floor
heights.
High-quality, lightweight, all-weather
plank provides a semi-finished floor
and ceiling in one operation.
Field labor is kept to a minimum
with fewer pieces to erect, resulting
in faster construction and quicker
building completion.
Floor and frame components are plant
fabricated in a controlled environment,
increasing quality and reducing the
chance of errors.

Owner: Waterford Hotel Group

PROJECT SUMMARY
The six-story, 210-room Mystic
Marriott Hotel & Spa overlooks
Connecticuts scenic Groton
Reservoir. The hotel was designed
to incorporate the scale and
imagery of classic New England
architecture. Its appearance is
reminiscent of the great hotels
from the turn of the century.

WHY STAGGERED TRUSS?


The design team considered
several construction systems in
the initial phase of the project,
including traditional cast-in-place
concrete. However, the staggered
truss system was selected because
it offered all-weather construction,
decreased erection time, and
reduced costs. Furthermore, the
system provided building owners
and developers with the ultimate in
design flexibility and architectural
freedom.

INCREASING SPEED
With fewer pieces to erect, the lightweight staggered truss system permitted
construction to progress at a faster pace
than traditional framing systems. This
reduced not only the building schedule,
but total overall project costs as well.
Though construction took place
throughout the winter months, the
structure was completed without delay.

REDUCING COSTS
Significant reductions in foundation
costs were achieved by choosing a
framing system that required fewer
columns and less steel tonnage.
Transfer girders, for instance, were
completely unnecessary at the second
floor over the hotels extensive public
spaces. Additional savings resulted from
the use of high-quality precast plank,
which provided a semi-finished floor
and ceiling, and eliminated the expense
of gypsum board. Fortunately, the
general contractor had the foresight to
specify carpet-ready plank, and saved
over $140,000 by eliminating the topping
specified in the original contract.

Above, Expansive Lobby of Mystic Marriott


Below, Column-Free Ballroom Space

ENHANCING FLEXIBILITY
The staggered truss framing system
enabled the design and construction
teams to create the most flexible and
efficient floor plans possible. Public
areas within the hotel benefited the
most. The 10,000 square foot ballroom,
for example, is completely column-free.
This open layout permitted unobstructed
sight lines for guests, as well as a variety
of room configurations that maximized
occupancy. The restaurant and spa also
benefited. The absence of columns
allowed designers to place tables,
service areas, and treatment rooms in
the most efficient manner possible.

Vierendeel Opening
for Corridors

RECENT REPRESENTATIVE STAGGERED


TRUSS PROJECTS
The Aladdin Resort & Casino,
Las Vegas, NV, 38 stories, 1999
Riverview Senior Housing,
Edgewater, NJ, 14 stories, 1999
Trusses Span the
Entire Building
Width

The Embassy Suites,


New York, NY, 14 stories, 2000
Half-Moon Harbor Condominiums,
North Bergen, NJ, 12 stories, 2001

Trusses Are Staggered


from Floor-to-Floor
This cross-section depicts the staggered
truss framing layout for the Mystic
Marriott. The trusses were set at 28 on
center, and designed with 10-deep, wideflange chords. The plank is 8 thick and the
web members are tubular. Vierendeel panels
were incorporated at the corridor and at
designated points between rooms. All trussto-column connections were bolted.

ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF THE ENTIRE


DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TEAM
ADDRESSING
ARCHITECTURAL
CONCERNS
Column-free interior spaces provide
layout flexibility and more architectural
freedom, especially at the lobby level.
Acoustic advantages result from the
thicker walls and insulation.
Fireproofing of the steel is accomplished within the walls.
Precast plank system provides
fire-rated floors.
Vierendeel openings in the trusses
permit space for mechanical, electrical,
and plumbing.
Modular aspects of the system yield
symmetry.
Trusses are produced from close to
100% recycled material.

The lateral loads are resisted by the staggered trusses as braced frames, allowing
the plank floors to act as diaphragms. A
rigid connection between the trusses and
the plank was achieved with a modified
grout that was pumped into plank cores.
Nelson studs were welded to the truss
chords to transfer the diaphragm forces
between trusses.

ADDRESSING
ENGINEERING
CONCERNS

Clayton Park Apartments,


White Plains, NY, 8 stories, 2002
Adams Landing Marriott Hotel,
Hartford, CT, 20 stories, 2003

Precast plank provides a semifinished floor and ceiling in one


operation.

Lower structure weight provides


reduced seismic and foundation loads.

Precast plank is lighter and more


cost-effective than flat-plate concrete.

Inherent stiffness of the trusses


provides an efficient lateral system.

Cost savings accrue from the lighter


frame and lower foundation costs.

Floor-to-floor heights are minimized


by full-height trusses encapsulated
in the walls.

Low floor-to-floor height reduces


building elevation and facade costs.

Vierendeel openings in the truss allow


for a central corridor.
Transfers above the column-free
space are eliminated.
Trusses are fabricated to precise
tolerances in a controlled environment.
Truss design is not technically
complicated, and modeling software
is readily available.

ADDRESSING THE GENERAL


CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION
MANAGER CONCERNS
Shop-fabricated truss reduces piece
count and speeds erection.
Dry, all-weather system shortens the
construction schedule.
Quicker erection permits other trades
to get on site sooner.

ADDRESSING THE BUILDING


OWNER/DEVELOPER
CONCERNS
Quicker completion reduces the
construction financing costs, and
permits earlier project revenue
generation.
Future building expansion plans and
modifications are easily accommodated.
System achieves the required low
floor-to-floor height to meet specific
project requirements or building
height restrictions.
Structural steel meets the overall
project need for reduced cost,
increased speed, and enhanced design
flexibility.

For more information or help


exploring a steel solution for
your next multi-story residential
building, contact:
American Institute
of Steel Construction
One East Wacker Drive
Suite 3100
Chicago, Illinois 60601-2000
312.670.5420
angell@aisc.org
Making Structural Steel
the Material of Choice

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