The Surf Style complex, a 175,300 ft2 (16,300 m2) beachside retail center and parking structure in the heart of Clearwater, Fla. Includes six-levels and more than 42,000 ft2 (3,900 m2) of retail and restaurant space on the ground and mezzanine levels, with parking for 344 vehicles on five levels above. The designers of this facility had to create a structure that could withstand corrosive sea air, meet strict flood zone requirements dictated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and deliver construction on an accelerated schedule within a tight footprint in the midst of a busy beachfront community during tourist season.
The project team was further challenged when, midway through construction, the owner decided to incorporate a FlowRider surf attraction into the retail surf shop. This addition required an extension to the original project schedule to accommodate the dramatic new feature. Structural changes were handled quickly and efficiently, adding only six additional weeks to complete the project. Even with the drastic change of scope, final delivery of the building was three weeks ahead of schedule.
The owner of the project was keen to minimize disruption to business as much as possible. By producing structural concrete products off-site, fast-track construction could begin immediately upon demolition of the existing structure. Offsite construction of precast concrete components also reduced the need for extra space on-site, which was vital because the construction zone abutted one of the most active parts of Clearwater Beach. Cornices, reveals, and recesses were cast within the precast concrete panels, eliminating the need for extra trades on-site or added attachment hardware.
To meet the area’s FEMA flood zone designation, the designers added a wave wall in front of the building with a 3 ft (1 m) tall concrete cap extending above grade that is supported by vinyl sheet pile extending 20 ft (6 m) below grade. The building was also designed under strict FEMA coastal construction guidelines to withstand the force of 6 ft (1.8 m) of standing water without incurring major damage.