The National Insurance Board Headquarters is the government office that houses the country of Trinidad’s social security services. This $280M TT ($47M US) project, located on the iconic Savannah, the Port of Spain’s emblematic park in the heart of Trinidad’s capital, is comprised of 205,000 gross square feet. The glass-clad, five-story building with two subterranean parking levels includes retail spaces and parking on the first level. The design-builder and its consultants won the project in competition over other highly recognized international design and construction firms.
Jezerinac Group provided structural design services to the architect and design-builder and served as Engineer of Record for the project. The structural system made use of local construction practices and materials. However, these practices were slightly modified to create a never-before-used structural system that was very fast and efficient for local labor to construct.
Hollowed-out concrete beam soffits were constructed on the ground and lifted and shored into place. Hollow core planks spanned between the beams. The topping slabs were poured along with the hollowed-out portions of the beams creating an efficient composite system.
Sited in a highly active seismic region of the Caribbean, the hybrid precast and cast-in-place concrete frame was detailed per the stringent requirements of Seismic Design Category D. In addition, the building’s façade was proportioned and detailed in a manner that balanced the strength requirements with flexibility—making it strong enough t