Duke Energy Center, Parking Deck and Levine Center for the Arts

The Duke Energy Center and adjacent Levine Center for the Arts is a significant multi-dimensional project that brings together natural space, culture and innovative urban architecture to enhance the economic vibrancy of Uptown Charlotte. This dynamic development is transforming nearly two city blocks, bounded by Tryon, Church and Stonewall streets. At the development’s center is a 53-story LEED-certified Duke Energy Center (48 stories occupiable). The building stands 786’5” and has 1.5 million square feet. The development also includes the Levine Center for the Arts that provides new venues for the Bechtler Museum, the Mint Museum, Knight Theater, and the Harvey Gantt Afro-American Cultural Center. Below-grade parking accommodates 2100 vehicles. The development covers about four acres and features a sculpture garden, plaza/green space, retail space and a tunnel. The property’s green features include a green roof, showers for bike riders, special window blinds, and systems that recycle rainwater and groundwater.

Duke Energy Center and Parking Deck

S&ME was selected to provide construction materials testing and special inspection services for the 53-story Duke Energy Center and the parking deck project. The one million square-foot parking deck is an 8-level post-tensioned reinforced concrete structure. Foundation support is designed based on loads ranging from 60 ksf to 160 ksf bearing on rock. Excavation of the parking deck extends approximately 100 feet in depth. S&ME’s work also included installation of a permanent underdrain system and temporary pumps to remove groundwater. The underdrain system is connected to a filtration system to remove contaminants. The filtered water is discharged to the sewer system.

The tower structure consists of a 53-level high-strength concrete structure. Beams are post-tensioned with concrete design strength of 16,000 psi and 18,000 psi. Concrete strengths range between 20,000 psi to over 25,000 psi. The floor system on each level consists of pre-stressed Double T system which receives a light weight concrete topping.  From the 48th to the 53rd levels, the structure is a structural steel framed system.

Knight Theater and Bechtler Museum

S&ME provided construction materials testing and special inspection services for the Levine Center for the Arts. The Knight Theater is a 1,200 seat performing arts center. The Bechtler Museum is a four-story structure adjacent to the Theater. The Wells Fargo Auditorium is a 300-seat underground auditorium. Two tunnels, one under Tryon Street and the other under West First Street, connect the cultural arts areas with parking and the Corporate Center. Our services cover all of the quality assurance, inspection and testing requirements for the project, including soils, concrete, structural steel, grout, and fireproofing. S&ME engineers managed the Schedule of Special Inspections and all documentation as required by Mecklenburg County. S&ME established a field office at the site to support our substantial involvement with construction of both the Cultural Arts and the Corporate Center components of the project. Construction quantities were substantial and include:

  • Earthwork: monitoring approximately 40,000 square feet of a mostly rock subgrade, 2,200 cubic yards of footing/slab backfill, 2,000 cubic yards of backfill at interior walls and 2,000 cubic yards of in-situ fill.
  • Underground Utility Installations: 500 linear feet with associated structures.
  • Concrete: 10,500 cubic yards of concrete consisting of spread footing, slab on grade, foundation and basement walls, slabs on metal deck, formed slabs and elevated walls.
  • Concrete reinforcement: 600 tons of rebar and 55,000 square feet of wire mesh.
  • Structural Steel: 550 tons of structural steel and 45,000 square feet of metal deck.
  • Fireproofing: on structural members and deck.