Structural Engineering Project With Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis, MN

VAA worked with Nelson-Tremain Partnership to meet the medical and residential needs of veterans

The Minnesota Veterans Home Building 22 is located on a 53-acre historic campus on the Mississippi River near Minnehaha Falls in South Minneapolis.

The six-story, post-tensioned concrete building features a tall first story with transfer beams, stepping balconies and a curved exterior with brick cladding. The post-tensioned slabs support tracks for hanging bariatric lifts at each resident room. Demountable partitions allow bariatric patients to be hoisted in the corridor and travel over the demountable partitions to be placed in the room. The building is founded on a combination of shallow footings and drilled piers due to the slop­ing surface of the underlying bedrock.

Our Approach to Structural Engineering for Minnesota Veterans Home

VAA played a critical role in establishing the structural system early in the project. Based on VAA’s system analysis and preliminary design of several framing options, post-tensioned concrete with a steel-framed penthouse was selected as the most cost-beneficial solution. Structural system cost estimates based on VAA’s preliminary design were within three percent of the final structural system cost.

In addition to accurate pricing, the post-tensioned system reduced floor-to-floor height, allowing the integration of numerous architectural features desired by the owner and significantly reducing the cost of the exterior skin, mechanical systems and interior finishes.


The 140,000 SF building serves the residential and medical needs of the veterans in our statewide community. This building is a key component of the campus infrastructure, serving as a connecting hub for all the main facilities on campus.

VAA also designed a series of complicated links to adjacent buildings, integrating them into the building structures while preserving the historic appearance. The links are designed to provide free flow of staff, residents and supplies among the buildings while minimizing the quantity of bedrock removal to control costs.

Interested in more of our work in the housing industry? Check out The Waters of Plymouth Senior Living project.