Southwest Pass Station

Southwest Pass, Mississippi River, USA
Architects
NANO Architecture | Interiors
Location
Southwest Pass, Mississippi River, USA
Year
2017

The Associated Branch Pilots are tasked with navigating cargo ships up the Mississippi River. The Station is operational 24/7/365, except during hurricane evacuation. Located at the mouth of the river, it is completely self-sufficient, with its own power generation, on-board water capture and filtration, and sanitary capture. Access and resupply is only possible by watercraft.

The station was a pre-engineered metal building constructed on a barge, towed to its current location, and placed on the river bed. The occupiable facility sits 30’ above on concrete columns. Constructed after Hurricane Katrina, exposure to extreme UV and saline laden air quickly compromised the metal envelope, resulting in significant corrosion, air/vapor intrusion, climate control and environmental issues.

The A/E team was tasked to research, select and detail a new exterior cladding system and roof for the Station and generator building that could withstand the harsh marine conditions and 180 mph wind loads, replace and enhance the insulation value, decrease air and vapor seepage all while maintaining weight and structural limitations.

Working with a fiberglass reinforced panel (FRP) manufacturer, A/E selected a 3” pre-insulated system, incorporating custom detailing, sealing and shapes for a complete envelope system. Vertical baton strips assure weather proofing while adding articulation. Stainless steel connectors and flashings were utilized throughout. Roof panels were topped with a Fiberseal membrane.

This is the first use of the Durashield system on a residential facility. One year after completion, it has withstood several tropical/hurricane events without incident, and achieved a 30% increase in efficiency.

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