Public Safety — Salt Lake City, UT

Immediate Operation at Maximum Credible Event

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Under Construction: Moment Frame and Damper
315,000 SF
GSBS Architects
McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie
Civitas Architecture
Okland Construction
Structural Engineers
Dunn Associates
Holmes Structures
Blake Marvin

Police, fire and emergency response call centers, community meeting rooms and department offices are housed in this LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy facility in the SLC Public Safety Building. Salt Lake City, a risk-averse and well-informed client, envisioned an enduring facility that would provide the structural performance needed to withstand the Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE) with a return period of approximately 2,500 years. The City expected this facility to meet immediate occupancy performance criteria for this level of shaking, exceeding code minimum for an essential services facility which only required Life Safety during an MCE.




The City envisioned an enduring facility that would withstand a Maximum Credible Earthquake.


The Holmes Structures team utilized performance-based engineering to explore a number of different protective seismic systems that also gave consideration to progressive collapse-blast resistance and contents protection. The specific systems tested include base isolation, damped steel and concrete moment frames, and dual-systems incorporating rocking shear walls with perimeter moment frames.

The client selected the damped steel moment frame, the second best performer, because it was adaptable to the architectural program which sought to balance the needs of an emergency services center with an open and inviting environment. An isolated floor system was used in a localized area of the building to provide additional seismic protection to sensitive server and electronic equipment.

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Under Construction
Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Performance-Based Engineering Model
Engineer Richard Dreyer with Steel Moment Frames, Salt Lake City Public Safety Building
Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Interior Stairs
Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Large Conference Room

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