Over 11,000 employees are required to build some of the world’s most advanced naval, war, and commercial ships for Ingalls Shipbuilding. The design-build team of Kahn and Yates recently completed a new assembly building with an attached three-story office building. Employee safety, efficiency, and flexibility were essential to the design of both structures.
Within the assembly building, large ship panels, stretching anywhere from 50 to 100 feet each, are brought in on a man-driven transporter, welded, and joined to create sections of a ship. Across four bays a series of four 125-ton and four 20-ton overhead cranes convey panels and subassemblies through the building. To improve worker safety and efficiency, Kahn developed an elevated assembly support system, allowing welders to safely stand below the ship panels. One side of the building is open to the elements allowing for the completed large ship assembly sections to be moved out of the building and on to the next area of stacking them together and forming the ship.
The attached office building features a mix of open workspace and private offices. On the main floor is a large employee cafeteria with multiple food stations to accommodate several hundred employees at a time. Designed to be flexible, this space can quickly be converted into a meeting and presentation room. Flexibility is also apparent in terms of the building’s mechanical systems; exterior sections of the building envelope can be removed when the time comes to update building systems.