Composites Honors the Resiliency of the Sea Scouts
The mission of the Sea Scouts has been unchanged since the group’s formation in 1919. The Boy Scouts of America’s Sea Scout program offers nautical education and high adventure aquatic activities to introduce youth to leadership, citizenship and teamwork, while fostering nature and marine studies.
To expand its offerings and capabilities, the Sea Scouts recently opened a $40 million facility with a 50-slip marina on Galveston Island in Texas. This new 10 acre facility contains a pool, foot paths and eco-friendly gardens to accommodate an expected 20,000 annual visitors. It also sits directly across from Moody Gardens, a popular educational and tourist destination on the island, and the site of a custom fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) accessible ADA handrail installation from Strongwell in 2003.
This Sea Scouts facility is unique from most buildings in the area due to its exterior circulation corridors and vertical stair towers which ensure open views from virtually every area of the structure. The intent of this design is to encourage people to experience the facility outdoors. The structure was also designed to provide sufficient protection against category IV hurricanes, including the facility’s doors and windows.
To protect the scenic views, FRP was chosen to provide a structural perimeter louvered wall system. The wall is structural, but also acts as a shade, while also constantly allowing natural lighting through the building’s corridors. The louvered walls consist of 8” EXTREN® wide flanged beams, 6” C-channels and 8” custom louvers. FRP was chosen over materials such as wood and metal due to FRP’s superior performance in the corrosive coastal environment, lighter weight and better UV performance over the traditional materials. Also, with the entire building pursuing a Platinum LEED certification most of the grounds and areas had to be extremely low-maintenance.
Texas is home to 24 LEED platinum certified projects. Three of those projects were built by Jacob White Construction, the overseer of this Sea Scouts facility. Jacob White Construction wanted to achieve its fourth LEED platinum certification with this elaborate, 70,000 square foot building. Jacob White Construction outfitted this facility with meeting areas, dorms and community rooms which provide top notch educational and research facilities for its guests.
The large amount of FRP used on this project will provide years of continuous valuable service with little to no maintenance to ensure the building’s long-term life cycle.
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