Miller Construction has completed the innovative, six-level automated drystack F3 Marina in Fort Lauderdale’s 17th Street Causeway marine district for owner Founders 3.

The nation’s second fully automated drystack marina of its kind, F3 Marina features an automated crane that lifts and stores or retrieves boats as long as 46 feet in under five minutes – a breakthrough for the marine industry.

Constructing the 59,000-square-foot, 130-foot-high structural steel and precast concrete building on a tight waterfront site at 1335 SE 16 Street posed a range of complex staging and scheduling challenges, according to Miller Construction President Brian Sudduth. Before building the massive 1,750-ton structural steel frame, Miller’s team worked with Florida Power & Light to convert overhead power lines to an underground run, without impacting the busy area’s existing utilities.

F3 Marina features a wet well at the building’s center, with two lifts positioning boats to be raised by the high-tech crane. Knowing the crane would be shipped in 100-foot-long sections, Miller’s team identified and resolved clearance issues during preconstruction to smoothly coordinate installation within the project’s schedule.

“To streamline construction scheduling for the building that is 400 feet long, we sequenced seven sections, starting at both the east and west sides, and coming together at the middle of the building for closure,” Sudduth said. That enabled steel erection to move back and forth between east and west sides of the project, creating enough space for the other trades to skin and start MEP work as each steel section was built. At times the project team had three cranes, 15 booms and four forklifts working inside the building.

It was an exercise in precision. “Thousands of bolts and plates connected the steel structure,” Sudduth noted. “When the two ends met at the building’s center, we had a quarter-inch tolerance to install the final bolts into the plate/beam connections. The bolts slid right into place,” he added.

Designed by architect RINKA of Milwaukee, F3 Marina includes 700 precast concrete panels and 26,000 square feet of curtain wall glass, creating an upscale, contemporary exterior. Engineers were Jezerinac Group of West Palm Beach (structural), and Edgewater Resources of Pompano Beach (civil).

Miller Construction is a prominent design/builder and construction services firm serving Florida industrial, retail, commercial, automotive, healthcare, hospitality and education markets since 1973. For information:

Photo Credit Island Studio Productions