Jason Carpenter in Bricks & Bucks on August 6, 2014
Such challenges are unavoidable, particularly when dealing with aging buildings. According to Shore Road board president Peggy Tavares, the contractors discovered extensive damage. Project engineer Bryan Kessler of Kappa Engineering then inspected the structural elements of the rooms and balconies to be renovated and found that the structural steel inside the concrete was heavily deteriorated and dangerously weakened.
Water, Water, Everywhere
Over the years, water had migrated into the building through the balconies, damaging the spandrel steel within the building's masonry walls as well. The large beams inside these exterior walls would now require complex structural steel repairs. And it didn't look like the problems would stop there.
"The more we kept opening the balconies, the more deteriorated the steel was," says Enrico Bragaglia of Allstate Restoration Corp., the contractor for the job. "We were planning on repairing and coating them, but now we had to take out the balconies 100 percent."
This "more than doubled our time estimate on getting the project done," says Kessler, as well as increased the cost estimate.
Demolition started on February 3, 2014, followed by a long stage of very delicate steel reinforcement work. Since the steel repairs were buried deep in the wall, Kessler says the entire project team worked to minimize the inconveniences to those living in the building.
"We had to work with a great deal of finesse so we wouldn't have to go into the apartments more than we had to," Kessler says. "As most engineers or contractors will tell you, making noise on the outside of a building is bad enough, but disturbing a shareholder by entering into their apartment on a daily basis is taboo."
Still, on a few occasions, the project team had to enter an apartment to probe the exterior wall. A small section of a bedroom would be "sealed off with heavy plastic from the floor to the ceiling, fully taped to prevent dust from getting into the rest of the apartment," he says.
The work remains ongoing, though all parties are optimistic it will be complete before difficult weather begins to set in around November.
"We've had a lot of rain delaying things and the work is an eyesore," Tavares says, "but I've been in the building for 48 years, so I've been through this kind of thing before. This work has been done very well."
Project started: February 2014
Expected project end date: November 2014
● Demolish and reconstruct front balconies
● Reinforce interior steel
Budget: $350,000 approx.
Estimated Market Value: $3,040,541
Assessed Value: $90,000
Bryan Kessler, Kappa Engineering
Enrico Bragaglia, Allstate Restoration Corp.
Peggy Tavares, Board President
Robert Ferrara, Ferrara Management Group
Photo courtesy Robert Ferrara. Click to enlarge.
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