Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium

Houston, Texas

Matt Smiddy - Construction Management Option


Rendering courtesy of PBK


Building Statistics


       Building Overview

Building Name: Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium

Figure 1.1: Architect’s rendering of the recreation center entrance. (Courtesy of PBK)

Location: 4141 Bailey Rd. Pearland, TX 77584

Building Occupant: Residents of Pearland, Texas

Building Type: Athletics

Size:   Complete Building: 105,117 Square Feet

             Recreation Center: 63,300 Square Feet

             Natatorium: 41,817 Square Feet

Total Levels: 2

Project Team:


City of Pearland, Texas and Pearland Independent School District



Civil Engineer

PBK – Civil Group

Structural Engineer

Conti, Jumper, Gardner, & Associates

MEP Engineer

PBK – MEP Group

Pool Consultant

Aquatic Excellence

Food Service Consultant

Frank Clements & Associates Incorporated

Technology Consultant

PBK – MEP Group

Landscape Consultant

Greenscape Associates

General Contractor

EMJ Corporation


Dates of Construction: May 2009 – June 2010

Cost: ~$17 Million, exact amount confidential (Contract with contractor – EMJ Corporation)

Delivery Method: Design-Bid-Build/Competitive Bid/Lump Sum



The Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium houses a recreation center and natatorium.  The building spans 638’-1” and is 230’-1” wide.  The natatorium is located on the eastern half of the building and is connected to the recreation center on the opposite half of the building.


 Figure 1.2: First floor plan


Figure 1.3: Second floor plan


The 2-story recreation portion of the building contains a double height competitive gym that can seat 588 spectators and has a raised 4-lane running track around the perimeter.  There is also a dance room, aerobics room, weight room, 2 racquetball courts, locker rooms, offices, and other multi-purpose rooms.


The double height natatorium contains an 8-lane 50 meter competition pool and a 4-lane 25 yard instructional pool with a handicap ramp.  The competition pool includes a moveable bulkhead, (2) 1-meter diving boards, and (2) 3-meter diving boards.  There is seating for 694 spectators in bleachers surrounding the competition pool.  There are also equipment rooms and training rooms in this portion of the building.


Building Codes:

2003 International Building Code

2003 International Plumbing Code

2003 International Mechanical Code

2003 International Electrical Code

2003 International Energy Code

2003 International Fire Code

2003 International Gas Code

1994 Texas Accessibility Standards

1992 Americans with Disabilities Act



Zoning District – ‘GB’ (General Business)





Minimum Lot Size

22,500 Square Feet

330,090 Square Feet

Minimum Lot Width


727’-7” (Frontage on Bailey Road)

Minimum Lot Depth



Building Setback: Front

25’-0” Minimum


Building Setback: Rear

25’-0” Minimum


Building Setback: Side

10’-0” Minimum


Height Restriction

45’-0” Maximum Height



Historical Requirements:

There are no historical requirements on this project.


       Building Enclosure

Building Facades:

The facades are primarily face brick on horizontally reinforced 8” CMU with rigid insulation and damp proofing between.  The facades by the recreation center and natatorium entrances are calcium silicate masonry units on horizontally reinforced 8” CMU with rigid insulation and damp proofing between.  All the glazing is Ό” Tinted Tempered Float Glass.  The four facades are described below:


The south faηade, facing Bailey Road is 25% glazing.


Figure 1.4: South Exterior Elevation


The north faηade has 10 windows



Figure 1.5: North Exterior Elevation


The east faηade has a series of strip windows along the recreation center entrance


Figure 1.6: East Exterior Elevation


The west faηade has 10 windows plus a strip window at the recreation entrance



Figure 1.7: West Exterior Elevation


The roof in the recreation center is a steel truss system while the roof in the natatorium is a glulam truss system.  The roofing system throughout the recreation center and natatorium consists of standing seam metal roof on a fully adhered waterproof membrane.  The roofing system over the main entrance to the building on the south side, a small strip between the recreation area and natatorium, and over a small portion of the north side of the natatorium is modified bitumen.


Figure 1.8: Construction photo of roof trusses at recreation center (Courtesy of EMJ Corporation)


       Sustainable Features

This building has no sustainable features.



Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium project is utilizing a Design-Bid-Build delivery method with a hard bid lump sum contract for the general contractor and specialty contractors.  The project is being developed through a joint-partnership between the City of Pearland and Pearland Independent School District.  City of Pearland holds the contracts with the designers and contractors and is overseeing construction, while Pearland Independent School District has donated the land and a portion of the construction cost. 

Pearland, Texas is a suburb 15-miles south of Houston, Texas and the 8-acre site is located in an unpopulated but easily accessible location.  For this reason site logistics will not be an issue during construction.  There will be ample room for steel shake-out, material storage, and contractor parking throughout construction. 

Site elevation is only 7-feet above sea level so it is necessary to dewater the site during excavation and foundation construction using well-points.  Excavation will use a 1:1 layback.  Steel and glulam structural system construction will utilize 50, 75, 80, and 100 ton truck cranes, all to be provided by the specialty contractor. All concrete will be placed using a pump truck.


       Electrical System

Electric power is supplied to the building from an existing above ground power line that parallels Veterans Drive on the west side of the building.  A 3000A power source is supplied to the main transformer in the mechanical courtyard at the northwest corner of the building.  There is also a 400 KW emergency generator.  From the 408/277 Volt main distribution panel there are 29 surface mounted panel boards, 12 of which are connected to the emergency generator.  These 12 circuits are evenly spread throughout the building, supplying power to critical equipment and lighting in public areas.  Of the 29 panel boards, 15 are 408/277 Volt 3PH 4W and 14 are 208/120 Volt 3PM 4W.  Each of the 14 208/120 Volt panels is stepped down using a 30KVA transformer.


       Lighting System

There are 32 different light fixtures in the Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium.  All but 3 of these are powered by 277V.  One is powered by 120V and two have a 480V power source.  A 2X4 recessed fixture with (3) T-8 lamps, a 0.125” thick lens, and a CCT of 4100K is the predominately used fixture.  This fixture is used in the offices, multi-purpose rooms, storage rooms, corridors, restrooms, and the weight room.  Two other fixtures that are important to note are a pendent (6) T-5 lamps, 3-ballast, high impact acrylic lens that is used in the gymnasium and a suspended 1000W metal halide Lightruss system that is used in the natatorium.  The Lightruss system, shown below in Figure 2.1, is a fixture type that is frequently used in natatoriums.

Figure 2.1 Lightruss system in a natatorium (courtesy of SPI Lighting)


       Mechanical System

Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium’s uses a constant air volume mechanical system consisting of chillers and air handling units servicing fan-powered constant volume terminals in each room.  There are (12) AHU’s located throughout the building ranging in capacity from a 2,000 CFM AHU which services the 2nd floor offices to a 46,500 CFM AHU which services the natatorium.  These AHU’s are served by (2) 138-ton, 240 GPM chillers located in the mechanical room courtyard at the northwest corner of the building.  Figures 2.2-2.5 and Table 2.6 show the locations of the mechanical rooms and the equipment contained in each.


Figure 2.2 Rec Center 1st Floor Mechanical Room Locations                    Figure 2.3 Rec Center 2nd Floor Mechanical Room Locations


Figure 2.4 Natatorium 1st Floor Mechanical Room Location                      Figure 2.5 Natatorium 2nd Floor Mechanical Room Location


Table 2.6 Mechanical Equipment List




Two (2) Air Cooled Chillers


Four (4) End Suction Pumps


Two (2) Air Handling Units, Two (2) Boilers, and One (1) End Suction Pump


Three (3) Air Handling Units


Four (4) Air Handling Units


One (1) Air Handling Unit and One (1) Condenser


Two (2) Air Handling Units


       Structural System

The structural system for Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium consists of structural steel throughout the building however there is a glulam system over the swimming pools.  Since the building has a wide variety of room types, there is also a variation in live load design requirements (60 psf – 150 psf) throughout the building.  This has led to many different member sizes in the building.  Steel columns are tube steel and consist of six (6) different sizes ranging from TS 10x10x3/8” to TS 4x4x1/4”.  Second floor framing consists of W-section beams ranging in size from W12x19 to W30x90 that support LH and K-Series floor joists spaced at 2’-6” o.c.  LHSP joists spaced at 5’-0” o.c. are used for the roof in the recreation center. 

As previously mentioned, a glulam system is used in the natatorium over the swimming pools.  A total of 14 glulam columns/beams are used to support 5x16 glulam purlins spaced at 10’-0” o.c.

Foundations for the building consist of drilled concrete piers and spread footings.  Concrete piers are 6” in diameter using 3000 psi and are drilled and poured to 12’ below finished floor.  There are about 100 of these piers.  At the base of each column is a 2’x2’x1’ concrete spread footing. 

The slab on grade is a 5” thick concrete slab with #3 bars at 14” o.c. each way on 3” chairs at 42” o.c.  The entire slab is 3000 psi concrete on 15mil plastic water vapor barrier on compacted fill.  There are 2 ½” depressions in the slab on grade at the gymnasium, dance/aerobics room, weight room, and the racquetball courts. 

Elevated concrete slabs are 3” thick 3500 psi concrete with 6”x6” WWF reinforcing on a 9/16” thick corrugated metal deck.  Roof decking over the open-web steel joists is 1 ½” deep 22 ga type B steel decking, while the roof decking over the glulam columns/beams is a 3” longspan cementitious wood fiber decking.


       Fire Protection System

Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium has a wet pipe pre-action fire sprinkler system that is to be built to a performance spec of:

Public Spaces, Classrooms, and Offices: 0.10 GPM/SF over the most remote 1,500 SF.

Mechanical Rooms, Storage Areas, and Service Areas: 0.15 GPM/SF over 1,500 SF.




This site was last updated by Matt Smiddy on Friday October 09, 2009and is hosted by the AE Department ©2008

Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-in-progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Matt Smiddy. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.

The Capstone Project Electronic Portfolio (CPEP) is a web-based project and information center. It contains material produced for a year-long Senior Thesis class. Its purpose, in addition to providing central storage of individual assignments, is to foster communication and collaboration between student, faculty consultants, course instructors, and industry consultants. This website is dedicated to the research and analysis conducted via guidelines provided by the Department of Architectural Engineering. For an explanation of this capstone design course and its requirements click here.

Senior Thesis Main Page | Penn State | Penn State Architectural Engineering | AE Lab | Contact Matt Smiddy