The Austin Company provided design-build services for the Fukushima FLEX storage facility at American Electric Power’s (AEP) DC Cook Nuclear Station in Bridgman, Michigan.
While this building is small in size – 4,800 SF – its complexity lies in the significant criteria established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to meet the Fukushima FLEX standards. This robust facility will be used to house backup generators, pumps, emergency vehicles and other critical equipment, and has been designed to withstand tornados, flooding, seismic events, and other catastrophic events. The building is located in the site’s controlled area.
Faced with significant time and budget constraints, AEP decided to work with one firm to design and build the most efficient and economical facility and meet the stringent NRC criteria. AEP selected Austin based on our experience designing and constructing nuclear support facilities and ability to meet the project’s requirements.
The building and its large rolling door were designed to withstand tornado winds up to 260 mph and impacts from rolling vehicles at 50 mph. In addition, Austin determined that using reinforced precast concrete would best meet project criteria, allowing for winter construction and being the most economical and flexible for future needs. Other structural design elements included concrete foundations and 32” deep precast concrete double tee roof members with a reinforced concrete topping.