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Building Statistics


Building Name:  Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center

Location: 111 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia

Building Occupant Name:  Cruise Norfolk

Occupancy:  Cruise Terminal / Conference Center

Size:  89,246 Square Feet

Height:  2 stories

Site Area: 310,110 Square Feet (7.12 Acres)

Dates of Construction:  August 2005 -March 2007

Cost:  $41 million (Total project cost. Includes Phase 1 (Pier construction), Phase 2 (Cruise Terminal Building), and the Gangway. $21 million (Phase 2 lump sum contract)

Delivery method:  Design-Bid-Build

Project Team

City of Norfolk
Department of Public Works
810 Union Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510

General Contractor:
S. B. Ballard Construction Company
2828 Shipps Corner Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23453

BEA International
3075 NW South River Drive
Miami, Florida 33142

GeoEnvironmental Resources, Inc.
2712 Southern Boulevard Suite 101
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452

Civil Engineer, Landscape Architect, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection:
Clark Nexsen
6160 Kempsville Circle Suite 200A
Norfolk, Virginia 23502

Structural Engineer:
BEA International and Clark Nexsen

BEA International
3075 NW South River Drive
Miami, Florida 33142

Clark Nexsen
6160 Kempsville Circle Suite 200A
Norfolk, Virginia 23502


The Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center is designed to enhance the passenger experience of Norfolk’s port, provide a larger facility than the existing dock, and create additional conference and ballroom spaces in the downtown area. 

Specifically, the design objectives include:

Urban Design
-Create memorable skyline from the city and the river
-Enliven Main Street View  Corridor Terminus
-Relate to Town Point Park and Waterside
-Create a new urban room: The Marina

Building and Site Design
-Relate to the powerful Nauticus neighbor
-Achieve its own identity
-Break down the scale towards the park
-Integrate bridges and terminal buildings
-Augment ground transportation options
-Improve provisioning access to the pier
-Create attractive venue for events and functions

When departing, the cruise passengers experience only the architecture on the second floor.  The typical passenger:

-Either parks in Cedar Grove (parking facility), arranges for other parking accommodations, or gets dropped off
-Drops off baggage on the lower gangway bridge to the first floor.  It goes through the x-ray machines and is put on racks.  Then it is loaded onto the cruise ship.
-Takes the stairs or elevators on the free-standing Entry Pavilion to the second floor.  They cross the gangway bridge and enter the second floor Lobby rotunda.  Then, they go through x-ray machines with their carry-on bags.  After that, they enter the Ticket Queuing for check-in.  They now may board the cruise ship via the Gangway.

When passengers exit a cruise ship, they:
-Enter the first floor and pick up their luggage.
-Pass through customs
-Exit the building via the lower gangway bridge.

The Entry Pavilion is not enclosed and includes stairs and three elevators.  The lower gangway bridge is retractable to allow boat access to the project’s Marina.  The second floor gangway bridge is permanent and leads passengers to the Foyer and Lobby. 

The Lobby is approximately 71’-6” in diameter, includes a 54’-2” embedded mermaid image on the terrazzo-finished floor, and is approximately 37’6” high.  It is glazed on the south side with full-height structural glass.  Two Conference rooms connect to the Lobby.  The Conference rooms can be combined if the folding partition is retracted.   Four x-ray machines connect from the Lobby to the Passage way, where restrooms can be found. 

The Passage way leads to the Ticket Queuing and Waiting Lounge rooms, which total 11,563 square feet.  This area contains exposed steel structural elements on the ceiling, glazing on the northern side, several clocks mounted on large wood paneling above the Passage way entrance, and access to 30 Mobile Ticket Counters. 

The Gangway path is an elevated adjustable ramp which accommodates various cruise ships.  It is lined with windows on both sides of the ramp.

The first floor, which only incoming passengers see, includes large rooms such as the Luggage area and Customs Queuing.  The first floor is generally less architecturally finished than the second floor.  The floor is concrete, and concrete structural elements are visible near the ceiling.  Mechanical systems are exposed and painted black. 

The Generator room and main Mechanical and Electrical rooms are located on the northern side. 

On the exterior, there are 14,189 square feet of terrace area on the second floor.  Most of this concrete paner terrace area faces the “Nauticus” (National Maritime Center) and marina; the rest overlooks the Elizabeth River.  Besides the structural glass wall of the Lobby, most of the façade is a vertical ribbed metal wall system.  Metal panels line the soffit and the building has a metal roof.  The first floor façade is a cast-in-place concrete wall and approximately matches the color of the concrete pier. 

IBC 2000
NFPA 2003

The project is within the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area. 


The Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center construction required two phases.  The pier was constructed in Phase 1, and serves as a base for the Phase 2 building.  The Base Bid Lump Sum for Phase 2 includes the Main Terminal Building, Pedestrian Bridges, Entry Pavilion, and site work.  The General Contractor was S. B. Ballard Construction Company.  The project basis of award was the lowest responsive Total Bid, and the General Contractor agreed to finish the project within 500 calendar days. 

The following dates indicate important project developments:
May 16, 2005: Sealed bids are due at City Hall Building in Norfolk, Virginia
500 calendar days: Phase 2 work to be completed


The unit substation includes the main switchboard (480Y/277V), from which all other panels branch.  The panels designated for mechanical equipment connect directly to the switchboard.  Most of the panels designated for lighting and receptacle loads feed through an Automatic Transfer Switch.  This ATS switches to the Natural Gas Engine Emergency Generator when there is a power outage from the utility company.  There are various transformers in the system to convert 480V to 208Y/120V when needed.

The unit substation is located in the Main Electrical Room.  In addition to the Main Electrical Room, the first floor contains the Generator Room and one additional Electrical Room.  On the second floor, there are two Electrical Closets. 


In the Ticket Queuing and Waiting Lounge/Meeting Rooms there are two lighting systems for ambient light: a metal halide system and a incandescent (halogen) system.  This space also features a color-changing LED system which grazes the exposed supertruss system. 
In the Lobby, there are metal halide lamps in the luminaires nearest the glass curtain wall.  Closer to the workplane, compact fluorescent lamps are used. 
Direct/Indirect luminaires provide illuminance in the Conference rooms and are controlled to create various scenes. 
On the first floor, low bay metal halide luminaires provide the general task lighting in the Luggage Area.
The exterior concrete façade and perimeter walkway on the first floor is illuminated with compact fluorescent luminaires.  Luminaires in the Entry Pavilion provide enough illuminance for circulation. 

Building heating and cooling is handled by five air handling units which are located near the center of the building.  Three are above the first floor in the Luggage Area and two are in the Mezzanine above the second floor.   The system is Variable Air Volume. 

The Mechanical Room is on the first floor and contains two chillers, two boilers, various pumps and other mechanical equipment.  Above the mechanical room, there is space for the boiler stacks. 

The building is constructed on top of the Phase 1 concrete pier.  The first floor is 2-1/2” concrete topping with wire mesh over 1-1/2” insulation board.  Much of the first floor shell is non-load bearing concrete because concrete columns carry the load. 

The second floor is 4.8” concrete slab.  In the Ticket Queuing and Waiting Lounge/Meeting Rooms on the second floor, there are concrete columns only along the perimeter.  In this space, there are supertrusses which span the entire width of the building.  The supertrusses are approximately 7’-8” deep and vary from 57’-7” to 117’-10” long.  There are various full-height columns around the Lobby and Mezzanine areas which connect to W10x50 beams as part of the main roof framing.  The Lobby also contains steel girders and braces around its circumference. 

In the Entry Pavilion, load bearing concrete walls encompass the elevators, and concrete columns support the second floor and roof of the stairs area.  The bridge is constructed with open web steel girders and is supported at approximately midspan by two concrete columns.  The bridge floor is 5-1/2” composite slab. 

Fire Protection
The Fire Alarm Control Panel supports horn/strobe units and manual pull stations.  It also supports two power booster panels which support additional horn/strobe units and manual pull stations.  Duct smoke detectors are in the air handling units.  The Fire Alarm system is a noncoded, analog-addressable system with automatic sensitivity control of certain smoke detectors. 

There is no fire pump, but a wet-pipe sprinkler system is in place. 

Stairs and three elevators serve the Entry Pavilion and move passengers to either the first or second floor.  A permanent bridge connects the pavilion to the building’s second floor while a retractable bridge spans the water directly under the permanent bridge.

Inside, one elevator and escalator moves passengers from the Ticket Queuing room to the Luggage room.  The egress stairs are designed so that occupants can exit the building safely in an emergency, but in normal circumstances occupants cannot bypass Customs. 

The Gangway is a motorized, enclosed and adjustable ramp.  Cruise passengers enter the ship via the Gangway which leads from the general Ticket Queuing area to the Ship entrance. 

Telephone, CATV and CCTV service enters into the Main Telecommunications room located on the first floor.  In addition, there is a LAN Room and on each floor one Telecom Closet.  There are various voice and data outlets throughout the building.  An overhead paging system contains speakers inside and outside the building and is controlled by zone. 

There are color cameras inside and outside the building which connect to the Central Controller and display on monitors.  In addition to the normal building security systems for the owner, the U.S. Customs use various security and telecommunication networks and equipment. 



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This page was last updated on 9/4/08, by Jonathan Walker and is hosted by the AE Department ©2008