Project Description

401 North Broad Data Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Netrality
  • Structural Design & Retrofit
  • Load & Condition Ratings
Market Sector:
  • Data Centers, Commercial

The Frost engineering team provided structural engineering services for Netrality’s Philadelphia data center at 401 North Broad Street. The iconic structure known as Reading Terminal Commerce Building, was built by William Steele & Sons costing approximately $4 million. It was the largest commercial warehouse building in the nation when completed in 1931. The infrastructure once had a freight station beneath it, replacing Reading’s North Broad Street Freight Station and rail yard previously on the site. The facility comprises 11 stories and 1.3 million square feet of floor space and occupies an entire city block.

The Reading Terminal Commerce Building was constructed of structural steel and fireproofed with concrete. William Steele & Sons utilized steel and concrete for its durability. The building was used to assemble military vehicles during World War II. It was home to its own post office and, later, its own dedicated zip code. 401 North Broad was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Netrality has invested more than $50 million in capital improvements to 401 North Broad, updating the historic building to make it a modern telecommunications facility with amenities including conference rooms, retail spaces and a fitness center. This data center acts as major junction for long haul and metro fiber routes on the east coast. Frost’s scope included structural capacity assessment and analysis as part of the process of retrofitting the building complex. In addition, Frost performed load rating of floor capacity analysis and a detailed assessment of the structural adequacy of the building’s main vehicular loading ramp.


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