Drew’s Car Wash – Form Follows Function
Form follows function is a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which says that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose. This principle is beautifully showcased in the recent design and construction of Drew’s Car Wash at Tower Point. The buildings longitudinal plan and modern architecture portray its intended function as a modern touch-free car wash that is inviting and intuitive to the customer.
Drew’s Car Wash Location
The newest addition to the Drew’s Car Wash chain is located at 4442 SH6 South College Station, Texas (near the HEB at Tower Point).
Car Wash – Structural Design
The structural frame for the car wash consists of structural steel hollow structural sections (HSS) that are bolted together via hidden internal connections. The lateral frame consist of a steel moment frame in which lateral drift is controlled by specifying the high-strength bolts to be pretensioned. Dudley Engineering provided the special inspections of the pretensioned bolts which were achieved via the turn-of-nut method.
Dudley Engineering also provided the structural design and renderings for the vacuum and ticket canopies. The design of the vacuum canopies is intended to provide shade for customer as they access the complimentary vacuums and towels. The front eave of the canopy drops down to conceal the vacuum hoses.
Car Wash Canopies – Wind Design
Design of the open-structure canopies presents challenges when designing for wind. Since the canopies are open, as opposed to an enclosed building in which wind is not able to pass through the structure, wind pressure is able to build up on both sides of the canopy roof. Positive pressure (toward the surface) is induced on the bottom of the roof while negative pressure (away from the surface) builds-up on top of the roof. The total combined pressure is substantial and must be resisted by the HSS beams and columns which are all rigidly connected to provide a complete and stable structural frame.