US Army Corps of Engineers


RIM Architects


Watts Constructors, LLC


Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii


This design-build project consisted of an aircraft hangar/nose dock and aircraft fuel system maintenance shop required to support the beddown of the C-17 mission at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. The steel-framed building measures approximately 30,000 SF and is approximately 75 ft. tall at the high point of the ridge. The exterior walls are comprised of a combination of metal panels and CMU. Steel-braced frames around the perimeter of the building provide resistance to lateral loads. The roof is comprised of open-web joists supported by built-up structural steel trusses with spans in excess of 200 ft.

Client Benefits

The Air Force schedule for design and construction of the new hangar was extremely aggressive. In order to meet the schedule demands, design and delivery of the structural steel superstructure was fast-tracked. BASE worked intimately with the team to develop a steel package that expedited the approval process. The braced frames and long-span trusses were designed to allow large sections of the building to be fabricated on the ground and lifted into the final position. Erection of the primary steel framing was completed within four weeks.

The Science and Design of Structural Engineering

In order to provide the required interior clear space, long-span steel trusses are required to span in excess of 200 ft. The lightweight roof structure is subject to hurricane level forces that subject the framing members to net uplift forces. Bottom chord bracing and stability of the long-span members were prime considerations in the design.

Evaluation of seismic ductility design options resulted in a design that met higher seismic design forces but was ultimately less expensive to build. Knowledge of local seismic risks combined with a philosophy to look at multiple approaches resulted in a design significantly less expensive to build than an adjacent newly constructed hangar.

BASE worked closely with the team during each stage of the design to develop a steel structure that met all the RFP requirements, was cost-effective and easily constructible. 3-D analysis models were shared between the design, fabrication and erection teams, helping to ensure that the final structure was completed within budget and detailed to facilitate erection.