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The general scope of our structural and civil engineering services for this project included generating repair documentation for an historic campus which is comprised of three existing buildings and one new building.  The existing buildings include one three-story building with four major wings, as well as two ancillary masonry structures.  The new building is a five-story concrete building, consisting of concrete construction with post-tensioned floor slabs and a light gauge metal truss roof.  All of the existing buildings exhibited extensive evidence of severe framing and masonry damages.

The existing historic facility was built in 1872, with additions made in 1879 and 1920. The two ancillary structures appear to have been constructed during the original 1872 construction. The scope of work for the existing facilities included an extensive demolition and repair program, with removal of all non-load bearing elements and finishes and replacement of many of the load carrying elements as well.  Stabilization of existing deteriorated masonry was also a substantial portion of the work effort involved. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, this campus served as an assisted living facility for the elderly.  This is the same use which the restored facility will serve.

As the site was historic in nature, and the work was precipitated by damages which occurred during Hurricane Katrina, part of the project requirements included interfacing with FEMA representatives.  It was also important to observe FEMA Project Worksheets and the general FEMA process, in order to avoid confusion related to project phasing and payment.

Additionally, because the value of repairs and improvements triggered Code compliance requirements as stated in the IBC, the existing building was also required to be compliant with the IBC in general, including the current wind code requirements.  This required the retrofitting of uplift connections and an effective lateral resisting system, such that the existing building’s framing elements could properly transfer wind forces through the building to the foundation.





Mathes Brierre

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