UPDATE: HMNS Expansion Tops Out!

March 25, 2011

Yesterday, the HMNS Expansion construction crew poured the final section of the roof slab and the columns for the parapet screen – the highest points on the building’s structure!

Topping Out! [Marach 25, 2011]
The highest point of our new building!

So today, the museum’s contractor, Linbeck, hosted a traditional topping out ceremony and, as is customary on Texas construction projects, a barbecue lunch for 250 of the construction workers and design team members who have had a hand in helping the project achieve this important milestone.

Theories of the origins and precise symbolism of the topping out tradition of hoisting an evergreen tree to the project’s apex vary, but most agree in some form or fashion that it symbolizes both growth and good luck. Linbeck hoisted a Yaupon holly tree to the top of the Expansion and adorned it with an American flag, and Texas flag, and the Pirate flag that had been flying from boom of the tower crane. It is visible from the top of the museum’s parking garage for a few weeks, so check it out!

Here are some fun facts about the construction to date (courtesy of Linbeck):

Topping Out! [March 25, 2011]
See more photos!
  • 13,000 Cubic Yards of Concrete were used on the structure, including basement/foundation.
  • Including the steel, the structure weighs about 55 million pounds – the weight of approximately 4,000 Tyrannosaurus Rexes.
  • 10 miles of Post Tension Cables were used, which covers the distance from HMNS to Hobby Airport.
  • The tallest point on the structure is 74’-0” above the ground, or about the height of 3 Tyrannosaurus Rexes standing on top of one another.
  • There are 230,000 Square Feet total (or enough room for a football field on every floor) in the new building.
  • 128,000 Total Man Hours Worked to date (equal to about 15 years).
  • Main Exhibit Floor Volume is about 1,000,000 CF or 37,000 Cubic Yards, which would hold about 5 Goodyear Blimps.
Topping Out! [March 25, 2011]
It’s a long way to the top!

See all the photos from the Expansion on Flickr | View all news on the HMNS construction to date!

The museum would like to thank Linbeck and Gensler and all firms and individuals involved in accomplishing the exciting work in place to date. Visit the HMNS web site to learn more about the exciting exhibitions coming soon to HMNS!

Authored By Susanna Kartye

Susanna joined the HMNS Expansion project team in October 2009 as the museum’s representative during construction of the new wing, which is scheduled for completion in 2012. When she’s not laughing her head off at the comic stylings of the HMNS Building department (while trying to get some work done) Susanna is also principal of The Sarrazin Group, a real estate investment and management company, and is pursuing her MBA through the weekend program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Follow the progress of the HMNS Expansion project through her monthly updates, which she hopes will make her as big an internet star as Zac.

3 responses to “UPDATE: HMNS Expansion Tops Out!”

  1. Sharon says:

    WoW!!! Three football fields and an blimp! This is just awesome!!!!

  2. Erin F says:

    Hi Sharon! Glad you like the post – hope you have a chance to walk by the construction sometime soon. The new wing is HUGE!

  3. photine says:

    I’m so excited for the new wing! It seems like just yesterday there was only talk of expansion, and now it’s here.

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