VAB Hardening and New Hurricane Wind Load Upgrade

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) was built in the mid 1960s to process and assemble the Saturn V launch vehicles that were used in the Apollo Program. Now, the Space Shuttle is assembled and processed in the VAB. The future use for the VAB is to support the Crew Launch Vehicle and Cargo Launch Vehicle to support the Constellation/Exploration Program. RS&H’s task was to design the hardening and upgrade for new hurricane wind loads. The VAB siding sustained minor damage from an indirect hit from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Studies were performed in 2002, which examined the wind resistance of the building and the condition of its various exterior components. As a result of those studies, design and construction projects were initiated to refurbish the VAB high bay doors and openings, the refurbishment of the exterior siding, and replacement of the translucent panels. Hurricane Frances in 2004 did more significant damage to the exterior siding and translucent panels, particularly on the south elevation of the high bay.

RS&H initially conducted field reconnaissance, site surveys, and site investigations to gain a comprehensive understanding of the existing conditions.

Project Information

Kennedy Space Center, Florida