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Oklahoma City Federal Building

Vulnerability assessment and blast design based on GSA Security Criteria for new office building to house federal agencies. 185,000 sf.

The new Oklahoma City Federal Building occupies a two-city-block site, one block north and west of the former site. The 185,000-square-foot building was designed to be welcoming despite stringent security precautions. A dramatic curved shatterproof glass wall faces a protected elliptical courtyard. Weidlinger Associates performed a vulnerability assessment, addressing the most hazardous conditions in order of priority, and proposed cost-effective measures to bring the design into compliance with GSA Security Criteria. In addition to a 50-foot setback, blast-resistant concrete walls protect those portions of the building that face the street. Weidlinger's objective was a balanced solution to the full range of potential threats, including airborne glass shards, failure of the exterior envelope, and failure of floor slabs due to upward blast pressures. Design modifications focused on mitigation of progressive collapse.

The site rises ten feet north to south, and the building nestles into the slope, forming a natural berm. The historic street grid was maintained to encourage pedestrian and vehicular traffic and to help revitalize a long-neglected part of the city. With only two entrances, visitors are funneled to the single lobby for enhanced security. Soaring walls on either side of the lobby shield people in the adjoining office wings from the effects of a lobby explosion. Sustainable design initiatives include daylighting. Expanses of curtain wall are oriented to take advantage of the sun; shading elements and a deep roof overhang limit the sun's effects in summer.

Completion Date: 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Owner or Client: General Services Administration (GSA)
Prime Consultant(s): Ross Barney + Jankowski Architects

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