ICRI 2007 Project Award Winner
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Award of Merit: Industrial Category

NASA Vehicle Assembly Building Roof Refurbishment
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Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Submitted by Cathodic Protection Technology of Florida, Inc.


NASA Vehicle Assembly Building

Owner
NASA
Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Project Engineer/
Designer

Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc.
Merritt Island, Florida

Repair Contractor
Ivey’s Construction
Merritt Island, Florida

Material Suppliers/
Manufacturers

Cathodic Protection Technology of Florida, Inc.
Cocoa Beach, Florida

MATCOR, Inc.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), located in Merritt Island, FL, is one of the largest buildings in the world with a height of 525 ft (160 m). The roof of the VAB, constructed using a conventional steel-reinforced concrete design, has an approximate surface area of 214,500 ft2 (19,928 m2). Over the years, the roof concrete has been periodically experiencing deterioration from corrosion of the reinforcing steel. The concrete degradation was in the form of cracking, delaminations, and spalling of the concrete. The typical patching repair method, used many times, did not prove to be a long-term solution for the structure.

Once concrete becomes contaminated and the pH of the concrete is lowered to a level of 12 and below, corrosion of the reinforcing steel is inevitable. When corrosion occurs, the corrosion product or rust occupies a volume several times that of the original steel, causing great internal stresses. Due to these internal stresses, the concrete cracks and deteriorates. 

When concrete is contaminated and corrosion starts, the only rehabilitation methods that will stop the corrosion process is the complete removal of the contaminated concrete (electrolyte) or cathodic protection. 

The extensive repair to the roof deck concrete slab was a massive scale project that demanded an impressed current cathodic protection system for the safe and long-term maintenance of the building’s 5-acre steel-reinforced concrete roof structure.

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