Westfield Valley Fair Mall Expansion
Santa Clara, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
Contractor: McCarthy Building Cos.
Lead Design Firm: JPRA Architects
Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Glumac

For this large and complex expansion of a 35-year-old shopping center, the engineering team implemented one of the first highly ductile bolted SidePlate moment frame systems on the West Coast. The system avoids complete joint penetration welding of heavy plates and sections in the field. Instead, connections in the field are bolted, saving time and money, and shifting all welding to the shop. The design included large, intricate, steel-framed skylights above the mall structure and a steel-framed lattice structure at a new entrance to the mall.

As the leasing plan developed, major changes to the structure arose during construction to accommodate anchor tenants. The project team had to quickly obtain permits for the changes. The engineer collaborated with the landlord’s leasing team, the design team and the tenants’ design teams to ensure that modifications to the structure could carry significantly increased loads, and those stringent deflection criteria were met.

One large below-grade level under the entire expansion site needed to accommodate four seismically separate structures. To this end, crews constructed the below-grade structure in concrete, with special concrete shear walls to provide lateral resistance, as well as foundations comprised of spread footings.

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