Built in 1950 and decommissioned in the late 1980s, the Seaholm Power Plant has come back to life as a vibrant mixed-use campus. Developers envision the revitalization of the plant and 7.8-acre site as “an urban oasis in the heart of downtown Austin.” Cardno was part of the team that provided structural engineering services for this redevelopment.
The Art Deco power plant has been converted into a multi-purpose space with an area for large events, offices, and retail.
Adjacent are two new buildings surrounding a one-acre public plaza: a 30-story residential tower with 309 units, nine levels of parking, and three levels of underground parking and a two-story building providing retail and office space with underground parking connecting to the high-rise tower parking.
Cardno structural engineers coordinated closely with the geotechnical engineer to develop a transition strip in the structure between the low-rise building/plaza and the high-rise tower. This strip allowed for differential settlement between the low-rise and high-rise construction. The low-rise foundations bear in the shallower Del Rio shales and the high-rise tower foundations extend into the deeper limestone, providing cost savings by not extending all the piers into the deeper limestone.