Austal is a world leader in the design and construction of customized aluminum defense and commercial vessels with shipyards in Australia, the Philippines, and Mobile, Alabama. Austal USA’s location on the Mobile River and its proximity to the Bankhead Tunnel demand marine engineering expertise. Thompson Engineering has partnered with Austal from the start of the design of the initial facility in 2001 and since then through multiple expansions.
Assembly Bays 3 & 4
In 2004, Thompson Engineering was hired for fast-track design-build services for a 106,000 square foot facility to manufacture new lightweight ships for the US Navy. The facility includes 500 linear feet of sheet pile, a relieving platform, and bulk heading system. Vibration analysis and pre/post stress analyses were completed for the nearby Bankhead Tunnel. Construction involved significant site earthwork, dredging, bulkhead design, foundations consisting of 200+ driven piles, and four, 40 metric ton (MT) overhead cranes. The entire project was completed in 20 months.
Assembly Bay 5
In 2011, Thompson Engineering was selected to provide design-build services on the Assembly Bay 5 facility. The ship assembly building is 58,862 sq. ft. and 130-feet high. The interior has a clear height of 102-feet and clear width of 125-feet and includes 30,000 sq. ft. of steel mezzanine (two levels –lower and upper –on the north and south side). The design incorporated a conference room, nurse’s station, restrooms on all levels, 12 offices on the ground floor level and five on the mezzanine upper level, and stairwells and materials lifts leading from the ground level to the lower and upper levels of the mezzanine. The building was designed for three, 40-MT-capacity, top-running double-girder cranes, each having multiple 20-MT hoists. The exterior of the building includes rolling doors on the east and west sides that have a clearance of 106-feet wide by 102-feet high.
The project was designed per International Building Code (IBC) requirements and was completed in July 2012.