Structural Defects in Courthouse Square
- Significant defects were found in the columns, shear walls, slabs, footings and masonry-clad building envelope.
- Structural upgrades included new overlays, new reinforcing steel, member enlargement and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)
- Quality control program was implemented that included four different agencies
- WDP & Associates, PC.
- STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES
Courthouse Square is located in downtown Salem, Oregon, and contains municipal space, retail, offices, a public transportation center and underground parking. The five-story complex, originally built in 2000, began to show signs of minor structural defects throughout the facility including buckling floor tiles, water seepage and cracks in walls.
County officials had a comprehensive structural analysis performed on the complex, and the results showed flawed design and construction practices. Significant defects were found in the columns, shear walls, slabs, footings and masonry-clad building envelope. The findings led the owner to close the entire structure and develop an economically feasible plan to repair and return the complex to service.
A task group of local businesses and county representatives were assigned to assess all possible options. In 2011, STRUCTURAL was invited to present viable options under a design-build delivery approach. STRUCTURAL’s team won the bid due to the firm’s extensive design-build experience with structural strengthening projects.
Project Design & Execution
The extensive design-build plan, consisting of proven construction techniques and technology-driven products, included upgrades to the columns, slabs, and walls. This required concrete enlargement, column capitals, and STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES’ V-Wrap™ FRP Composite Strengthening Systems. A Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Reinforcing System, V-Wrap™ combines lightweight, high-strength carbon fibers with premium resins to create an externally bonded reinforcing system for application to existing structural elements. These structural upgrades, done in the building and parking garage, included new overlays, new reinforcing steel, member enlargement and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).
With the selection of materials, STRUCTURAL, the project contractor, implemented a detailed safety plan for the project, which included access and protection to ensure the safety of the general public and crews working onsite. A stringent quality control program was implemented that included four different agencies: special inspector, city, owner’s agent and STRUCTURAL inspections.
Repairs to the building envelope were also necessary on the masonry façade. Several bricks were displaced, as well as the entire top portion of the brick exterior required replacement. Deficiencies had caused the building frame to shift, requiring window replacements. A self-leveling overlay was used throughout the building to correct uneven surfaces caused by deflected slab conditions.
The successful completion of repairs by STRUCTURAL provided the owners with a rejuvenated building to house a variety of county departments without having to demolish and construct a new facility.