Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thanks for A Great 2014!

Before we lock the office doors and head home to enjoy the holiday with family and friends, we would like to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We wouldn't be who we are without all of our great employees, clients and families. Thank you all for another great year!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

High Performance People Series: Interview with Russ Thurston, P.E.

Q: How long have you been working with StructureTec Group?
A:  I started in March of 2011. I have been in the parking structure and building restoration industry since graduation in June of 1980.

Q: What significant changes have transpired since you started?
A: We expanded our services. Since I started, we've increased our focus on horizontal restoration and concrete repair services. Basically we've developed a more significant capability for self performing repairs. 

Q: How has your role within the company changed over the years?
A: I was hired in as a senior project manager, responsible for managing individual projects, shortly after I was promoted division manager. As division manager I am responsible for the growth and development of the restoration division.

Q: What was your most memorable/rewarding/challenging project?
A: Most recently, the Tampa General Hospital project. This is the type of project that was our goal to work on since I started. It was unique in its size, complexity, number of structures and logistics. It was a major forensic investigation. 

Another rewarding project is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, it has been a goal of ours to perform this type of major reconstruction...and we are there now. It is rewarding as the division manager to see the division grow into this caliber of work.

Q: What attracted you to StructureTec Group?
A: I had some existing exposure to the company about 10 years before I joined the team. I talked with CEO, Jeffrey Brittan and thought he had an interesting concept, as far as the way he was structuring the Company. This structure lead to opportunities for growth and development. Unlike other companies, StructureTec doesn't sit around waiting for the work to come in. It was clear that StructureTec is a very market driven firm. 

Q: Where do you see the direction of the company going in the next decade?
A: I see us moving into larger more complex structures, building a greater depth of personnel with our experience in horizontal restoration and using our niche in that market to expand geographically. I also see a huge opportunity in our ability to self perform the repairs as a design-build solution.

Q: What makes StructureTec unique?
A: The biggest difference is flexibility, we are small enough to take risks in development, but large enough to be conservative to make sure everything is being done correctly. We are more entrepreneurial than most engineering firms. Engineers tend to stay very focused on one small capability. We’re not just looking at one particular aspect of a buildings, we’re looking at whatever it takes to service the client. 

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: The people I work with. I like to teach them and develop their expertise. I also enjoy the challenge of working on parking and building structures, they have a wide range of conditions that have to be evaluated and understood.

Russ Thurston, P.E.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Project Spotlight: Marianjoy Hospital Green Roof

Marianjoy Hospital in Wheaton Illinois was getting an upgrade. A new patient tower, conference center and cafeteria were being added to their campus. With construction underway on the new additions, the hospital’s management recommended that an aesthetically appealing green roof system be added to an existing roof area because it would be visible from the new patient tower.

Construction underway.
They wanted to create a space that would promote patient healing through a natural environment as well as provide a place to host events. A green roof would be just that. Rather than look out onto a typical roof system, patients staying in the new tower could look from their windows down to a beautifully landscaped green roof. Also, the area could be used as a place for people to get outside and enjoy some fresh air while staying under the care of hospital staff.

The hospital contacted an architect who recommended they add the green roof on top of the existing roof system. StructureTec Group had worked with the facility manager on other projects, valuing StructureTec Group's reputation for best-in-class building envelope weatherproofing, the facility manager decided to get a second opinion.

The problem with the suggested approach was that the existing roof was not designed to support a green roof. The existing roof was a 19 year-old modified bitumen roof constructed with seams in the membrane. A green roof membrane has to be designed to hold water for the plants. Thankfully the roofing experts at StructureTec caught the error before any plans were drawn. The facility manager selected StructureTec Group to design and build the green roof using the Premier Engineered Systems project delivery method.

Premier Engineered Systems is our unique Design-Build approach. This method utilizes the design expertise of StructureTec in partnership with the construction expertise of Construction Services Group, a StructureTec Group subsidiary. This design-build approach eliminates the bidding process, allowing projects to be fast-tracked and designers and contractors to work together as a unified team. This method was necessary for the project because construction was already underway on the new patient tower. Construction Services Group (CSG), had only a brief window of time to complete the project before access to the roof was blocked by the new patient tower that would be multiple stories higher than the green roof.

CSG technicians began work on the project, only to discover that the two roof areas intended for the green roof had been built differently. On one section, the existing modified bitumen roof was adhered directly to the concrete deck, not on top of insulation as it was on the other side. This discovery required the StructureTec designers to re-engineer the roof system for that section. Otherwise the roof would have been higher than the door thresholds. A plan was developed to remove the existing roof and prepare a new concrete surface coated with an aesthetically pleasing, skid resistant PMMA surface. This completely waterproofed the roof without adding any additional height.

Installed planters.
Because Premier Engineered Systems was chosen as the project delivery method, this new challenge did not delay the project. The designers and builders were working together throughout the process, CSG was able to continue to work while the designers at StructureTec redesigned the plan for the unexpected roof system. This allowed CSG to meet their deadline without delaying construction on the new additions; a delay that could have cost the client thousands.

CSG met their deadline and installed a weatherproof and beautifully landscaped green roof. The green roof is now a real focal point of the hospital. It is a unique place where they can host events but more importantly a place that promotes patient healing reflecting the hospital’s dedication to providing the highest quality of care possible to their patients.

Completed green roof.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Case Study: Chicago Area School District Realizes $1.2 Million in Savings

Joliet Public Schools District 86 is made up of 21 school buildings covering 26.4 miles in suburban Chicago. A challenge for any school district is being able to effectively manage building projects within the budget provided by the taxpayers and appropriated by the school board. Joliet Public Schools is no different. Their buildings had been leaking due to years of deferred maintenance. It became difficult to manage the maintenance and leak repairs which were completed solely on an emergency basis. This reactive approach was costing the district money and would cost even more over time.

StructureTec was engaged to develop a Long Range Roof Asset Management Program to aid in budgeting for capital and maintenance projects based on accurate condition assessment. StructureTec evaluated every roof area in the district and also performed a StructureScan infrared survey to supplement the visual investigation. After the evaluation a three-year 3.5 million dollar roof replacement, restoration and maintenance program was developed for the district.

Planning session between Joliet Public School District and StructureTec.
The first priority was to address the roofs that needed to be replaced. Throughout the program a total of nine major capital projects were completed. The next focus was to capture any opportunities for roof restoration. Roof restoration can double the life of an existing roof system for a fraction of the cost compared to replacement. This technique was employed at four schools throughout the district, adding 15 years of service life for 20 percent the cost of a full replacement.

The program turned out to be just what the district needed to truly manage their building projects. Wes Russell, Assistant Superintendent for Business & Financial Services said “There is no doubt in my mind that we provided the tax payers with long term value." Darryl Duncan, Manager of Building Support Services added “StructureTec’s program allowed me to focus on other priorities and still accomplish the districts objectives.”  By prioritizing their portfolio, Wes and Darryl were able to save the district 1.2 million dollars. StructureTec was able to support the district throughout the entire program and ultimately provide them with the best solution.

One of the many buildings that make up Joliet Public Schools.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Season of Thanks

We work really hard here at StructureTec Group. Most of the time, we’re the nose-to-the-grindstone type of people. This time of year is a great time to take a moment away from the noise of life and reflect on all of the blessings in our lives.  

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, We’ve compiled statements from employees responding to the question: What are you thankful for this year? Their responses are below. I hope you enjoy reading, and more importantly reflecting on what you’re thankful for this year.

“I am grateful for the team that I have worked with day-in and day-out at StructureTec this year. We managed to work on many challenging projects this year and each project brought us closer together for the betterment of our overall services. I am looking forward to capitalizing on the many learning experiences for our projects next year.” – Sergio Pages, Vice President

“I am thankful for a warm home, my close family, an amazing group of friends and a great job that has created so many wonderful relationships.” – Megan Button, Human Resource Manager

I am thankful for the love and support of my family. I’m thankful for their health and my own. I’m truly grateful to share each day with them. I’m also thankful for the many blessings in my life.” – Matt Meyer, Manager, Roofing – Construction Services Group

“I am thankful for the team at StructureTec that allows us the serve our clients, we have a team that goes over and above, works nights and weekends in order to meet our deadlines and commitments to the clients.” – Nick O’Hare, Director of Marketing

“I am thankful for the health of my family.  This is especially meaningful this particular year as my dad has been working through a serious heart condition.  I’m very grateful that he’s still here and can spend Thanksgiving at my home this year.  I am also thankful for God’s provision through the career opportunities he has provided my husband and me during 2014.  There have been some changes, and it has been an incredible blessing to see how the opportunities have all worked out according to God’s perfect plan.” – Stacey Woods, Manager, Sales & Business Development

“I am grateful for being given the opportunity to join the StructureTec team and for time with my family over the holiday break.” – Megan Schwark, Executive Assistant

“I am thankful for my family, the man in my life who makes me smile and laugh every day - Paul Mitchell, for my friends who we love hanging out with on the weekends and my coworkers who make coming to work a joy every day!” – Dawn Dahlinger, Corporate Administrative Manager

“I am thankful for the great team we have at StructureTec, I am thankful for everyone's strong commitment to the company. I am grateful that all of our employees work hard to provide the best customer care...to truly provide the best solutions.” – Jeffrey Brittan, CEO

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2015 Pent-up Demand

Annually in the 4th quarter StructureTec Group gathers for a company wide planning session to discuss strategy for the future. In addition to our company wide meeting, we have divisional meetings to discuss the specifics on how each division within StructureTec Group can prepare for the year ahead.

During our discussions this quarter, a resounding theme has come up. Pent-up demand in the marketplace is creating full backlogs for 2015 projects and contractors are being very selective with the work they bid. Our clients have shared with us their struggle to secure reliable contractors to perform the work they have slated for 2015.

With budgets finally being approved, remedial construction projects are on the rise. This is happening all across the country as America begins to feel the relief of an improving economy. The problem we are faced with now is that many of the construction companies that once could perform this work did not survive the recession; leaving fewer contractors to tackle the increased demand for high-quality work.

Due to the pent-up demand in the marketplace we highly recommend bidding/securing a contractor for 2015 projects yet this year or early 1st quarter 2014. Bidding early returns the most competitive pricing and will also help you to avoid the pent-up-demand for high quality contractors. Don’t risk being left to choose whoever is available.

If you’re interested in learning more about how StructureTec Group helps clients schedule work ahead of time, give us a call (1-800-745-7832) or email. We’d be happy to discuss your strategy for getting 2015 projects booked and ready to go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Project Spotlight: Marianjoy Roof Restoration

Even though the roof on Marianjoy Hospital in Wheaton Illinois was only 8 years old, it was leaking. The roof was expected to have a 25 year life. This early problem prompted the Facility Manager to contact StructureTec Group for an evaluation and infrared scan.

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital
After the scan and evaluation, it was clear that the leaks were occurring due to material deficiencies; deficiencies that are typically covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. In this particular case, it was discovered that not only did the installer fail to finalize the warranty paperwork, but that the installing contractor was not an authorized installer of the roof system. Unfortunately, these oversights voided any warranty that could have been applied to the roof system.

The roof needed an estimated one million dollar total replacement. Because the roof was quite new, there was no existing budget for a project of that magnitude. The hospital management wanted a way to fix the problems and maximize the life of the existing roof without exceeding the available funds for the project.

Construction Services Group (CSG), a StructureTec Group subsidiary, was contracted for the project. Given the parameters of the situation at hand, the team was able to come up with an innovative solution that saved the building owner the cost of full roof replacement.

Technician applying aluminum coating.
Rather than replace the roof, the team developed a plan to remove the wet insulation, repair the blisters and seam failures and cover the entire roof surface with an aluminum coating. This protects the building and prevents further material deterioration.  This solution gives the building owner another 10 years with their existing roof for less than $100,000.00, a fraction of the cost of replacement.

The building owner now has a roof that will last 10 more years, postponing the expensive roof replacement. In addition, the roof is fully weatherproofed complete with new insulation. StructureTec Group was able to provide the best solution for the unique parameters of the project allowing the hospital to continue to provide the best possible care to their patients and staff.

Weatherproofed roof with aluminum coating.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The 3 R's of Winter Preparation

Halloween is over and the pumpkins on our front porches have rotted (or frozen) away…whether we like it or not winter is just around the corner.

Before the first flurries start to accumulate, there are a few checks you should perform on your buildings to be sure they’re ready to bear the burden of snow, ice, rain and freeze/ thaw conditions. 

We've broken them down into the 3 R's of Winter Preparation:

1. Review the condition of your roofs. Roofs bear most of the burden of winter weather. Checking your roof system for any deficiencies before they’re covered in snow and ice will save you time and money in the long run.  You should be looking for things like punctures, open laps and blisters as well as obvious signs of existing water damage. What is now a small leak will only get worse this season.

2. Record the deficiencies you find on your roof and the level of severity. This will help you develop a plan to address these issues. Whether you decide to perform the work yourself, or hire a professional, knowing what and where the problems are will save you time as you race against the changing weather.

3. Repair the issues you've discovered. Give yourself some peace of mind this holiday season by ensuring all problems have been addressed. Repair any penetrations, flashings, curbs and skylights and repair voids or any open seams. Ensure that drains and scuppers are clear of any debris. Taking care of these minor maintenance issues will prevent them from becoming major projects to address this spring.

Remembering to check these few things before winter will go a long way in protecting your assets.  If you need advice on how to prepare your building for winter, you can schedule a walk over with us to make sure your building is ready. Click here for more information. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Highway Test Project

Sika Corporation recently developed a new technology: epoxy that adheres directly to asphalt. This product is the first of its kind (current applications are for use on concrete only). The traditional application used to seal and repair asphalt requires heating the material, applying and setting for at least 24 hours before the area can be opened to traffic. The new technology only takes a few hours to complete from start to finish.

Technicians preparing test area.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is interested in implementing this new product on Kentucky roadways. Before it can be approved for use in the state, it has to be tested for durability and effectiveness. Construction Services Group (CSG), a StructureTec Group subsidiary, was contracted to perform the test project.

Applying the epoxy.

CSG Technicians, Sika Engineers and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet representatives went to work to determine the test area and project parameters. The team worked together seamlessly. They were able to efficiently reroute traffic and perform the necessary preparation and application of the new epoxy. The project was completed within six hours minimizing the disruption of traffic flow.

Engineers will be monitoring the test area to measure its effectiveness for use on Kentucky roadways. If all goes well, more states could adopt this new technology. Chances are you’ll see one of our bright yellow Construction Services Group t-shirts on a highway near you.

Finishing the project.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

High Performance People Series: Interview with Sergio Pages

Our motto here at StructureTec Group is: "High Performance People...High Performance Results." We know the employees are what truly make this company successful. We'd like to share with you some of our high performance people who are behind the StructureTec Group brand.

Vice President and CIO Sergio Pages represents our motto well. Below is an interview with Sergio as he discusses his 22 years with StructureTec Group. 

Q: How long have you been working with StructureTec Group?
A: Since 1992. I started as an outside consultant helping install our first finance and accounting system. Shortly after, Jeffrey Brittan (CEO of StructureTec Group) asked me to join the Board of Directors. In 2001 I decided to come on full time with the company in our Detroit regional office.

Q: What significant changes have transpired since you started?
A: The biggest change has been our geographical expansion. In the beginning, our work was primarily in Michigan. Another big change has been the expansion of services. Expansions like the pavement division and the addition of Construction Services Group (CSG).

Q: How has your role within the company changed over the years?
A: When I came in I had two titles, VP and CIO. Then we added the title of Client Relations Manager. So I have many titles. I still serve on the Board of Directors, but my number one priority is business development and client relations.

Q: What is your most memorable/rewarding/challenging project?
A: Oh man that’s a tough one…there are so many. Spectrum Health is one because of the timing. It was a 10 year process of performing a complete building envelope and roofing program for the hospital. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) because of the variety of projects there, including parking structures. Hines Renaissance Center/General Motors in downtown Detroit, because of the iconic significance of the building, also managing the weatherproofing program for a major energy services provider because we've been their consultant for 160 different locations.

I have really enjoyed doing what I do in these cases and other cases because of the variety of business that these clients are in. From healthcare to automotive and even energy, the variety of industry really motivates me. There is so much variety, yet there is a commonality of needs that we can meet.

I also really enjoy working with the teams that we have in our company. I enjoy when they’re having challenges and they come to me for help. I’m able to help them in different ways. Being a bridge between the teams is something that I truly enjoy doing. I interface with every department in some fashion to help bridge the gap. My strong suit is relationship building, that’s where I try to help internally and externally, by building relationships.

Q: How have our customers/clients changed throughout the years?
A: The justification to fund projects has become more complex and challenging for our clients. We've had to learn how to help them make a stronger case to justify their need for funding our projects. Another change is that our clients seem to have fewer resources for new construction and as a result, their need for our services is increasing.

Q: Where do you see the direction of the company going in the next decade?
A: Expansion of additional offices in other states, expanding the existing services that we offer and moving further into the international arena, beyond North America; which is something I’m looking forward too. I enjoy variety…different industries…when you add the cultural diversity, it is even more exciting. Adapting our business to new cultures would be really interesting.

Q: What makes StructureTec unique?
A: We are much more engaged than any other firm in our industry. What I mean by engagement is we truly take ownership of the projects that we work on. Ownership means we control it…we work hard to make sure everything meets our clients expectations and exceed it. When we fail…we also take ownership of that and resolve it for them. Other companies, when something goes wrong they will only go so far to fix it, then move on.

Sergio Pages and his wife of 20 years, Jackie are the proud parents of two sons (Mario and Carlos). He is very active with the Boy Scouts of America where he serves as a mentor and with the non-profit organization The Business Round Table, where he sits on the Board of Directors.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Choosing the Right Project Delivery Method for Your Project

A successful roofing, building envelope or pavement remediation program involves important decisions regarding the method by which the projects will be designed and constructed, the project delivery method. This decision has become more complex as a variety of alternative delivery methods have been developed.

Choosing the right project delivery method plays an important role in the ultimate success of your project.

Click here to continue reading ...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Design Build - Historic Building Renovation

StructureTec Group recently completed renovations of a historic building in a major Midwestern city. The building is headquarters for an industry leading energy provider. As part of the company’s 175th year anniversary celebration, the building was getting a much needed face lift.

The owner’s objectives were to preserve the historical aspects of the building while providing a safer, dry place to work by replacing the buildings deteriorated and leaking infrastructure. Choosing StructureTec Group allowed them to utilize our design-build program, Premier Engineered Systems, ensuring that a unified team of designers and builders held the owners objectives to the highest priority.

Installation of floor tiles along entire portico area.
The renovation took place on the portico main entrance. Renovations included replacement of the travertine marble floor, waterproofing the basement offices, structural concrete repairs, and the installation of a new drainage system.

As with any project, there were many challenges that pushed our team to new levels as they developed innovative ways to complete the work. For example, the original drawings for the building were faded, leaving many aspects of the project up to the field engineering expertise of the team.  In addition, the building was located on a heavily traveled street, with only two entrances to the public. Access needed to be available at all times and the heavy traffic needed to be safely routed around the construction site. Overlapping shifts and night work allowed for ease of access to the building during the business day without delaying the project.

Temporary rigid insulation board installed for flood testing zones.
The end result was a beautifully restored, waterproof portico entrance with new elements crafted to perfectly replicate the existing building features – just in time for their anniversary celebration.

Overview of completed portico.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Corporate Planning Session and Employee Awards

The StructureTec Group team gathered for a one day business update and planning session on Friday, September 19, 2014. The focus was to review year to date accomplishments and to ramp up for the 4th quarter.  2015 goals and objectives were also touched upon. Company culture was discussed in detail to ensure all employees are in line with the company’s Core Values of Integrity, Quality, Relationships, Expertise, and Accountability. All employees left the meeting toting the motto of “StructureTec - High Performance People … High Performance Results.”

Business Update and Planning Session
The StructureTec Group Team
The afternoon was spent celebrating successes of the company and honoring employees for their contributions. Employee’s 1, 5, 10 and 15 year anniversaries were celebrated as well as employees who have went over and above and have taken their positions to a higher level.  Contractor’s awards were also presented to contractors that exuded excellence on StructureTec projects throughout the year.

1 Year Honorees receiving their signature StructureTec portfolio

 Employee honorees included:

Brianne Bucklin - Corporate Accountant, Corporate Office, Excellence Award

Chris Cogan - Regional Manager, Detroit Regional Office, Customer Service Award                               
Tim Russell - Regional Manager, Construction Services Group - Kalamazoo, Quality Award

Terry Spradlin - Restoration Manager, Construction Services Group - Cincinnati Regional Office, Safety Award
Carla Bradley - Administrative Manager, Construction, Specialty Products and Services - Kalamazoo, MVP Award

Dawn Dahlinger - Regional Administrative Manager, Corporate Office, Above and Beyond Award
Megan Button - Human Resources Manager, Corporate Office, Impact Award

Contractor honorees included:
DC Byers - Quality Award for Restoration Services

R.E. Middleton - Quality Award for Paving Services

R. Adams Roofing - Quality Installation Award for Building Products Group

Olsson Roofing - Quality Award for Roofing Services

Royal-West Roofing - Quality Award for Roofing Services

Sign Center - Quality Award for Professional Services

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Impact of Bidding Schedule on Capital Project Cost

Project Planning Meeting
When bidding capital projects relating to the exterior building envelope, schedule needs to be a main consideration when trying to obtain the best competitive price. Historically, a way to yield effective results was to bid in the first quarter anticipating for work to begin in the spring, summer, or fall.
There are however additional savings that can be achieved if the bidding occurs in the fourth quarter as opposed to waiting until the New Year. With the schedule set for the construction period, the earlier the project is bid the better.

The new budget year is approaching and now is an excellent time to start planning for 2015 projects. Planning now will:

·         allow for concise, realistic budgets ready for next year

·         help take advantage of lower pricing (competitive bidding)

·         help avoid being lost in the contractor’s backlog

Benefits such as receiving the most competitive pricing, ensuring project completion meets all deadlines and engineering costs savings can be realized.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too Late for 2014 Projects?

Last week we featured our Rush Oak Park Hospital horizontal restoration project. This was a unique project not only in magnitude, but in timing.

The project began in October of 2013, the time of year when most construction projects are delayed until spring. The traditional design-bid-build process is too lengthy to allow for new projects to start in the fall; however if you still have work to be done in 2014 there is another option that might work well for you.

The Rush Oak Park Hospital project was delivered using StructureTec's design-build program, Premier Engineered Systems. Choosing this delivery program allowed the project to be completed before the end of the year, without "rushing" the quality of the work.

A truly turn-key application, Premier Engineered Systems design-build delivery utilizes the engineering and construction expertise of our vertically integrated companies. This changes the relationship between designer and builder into an alliance that promotes collaboration and teamwork. The unified flow of work, from planning to completion, enables our clients to receive the highest quality project quickly and on budget.

If you're on the fence about whether or not to tackle your project before the end of the year, design-build may be a great option for you.  Contact us to find out more about our design-build opportunities.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Horizontal Restoration: Rush Oak Park Hospital

Horizontal restoration is the process of restoring horizontal concrete structures. This type of restoration encompasses the protection, rehabilitation, and/or replacement of damaged and deteriorated structural elements. These structures, such as parking decks, plaza systems and underground expanses, have a significant effect on your facilities appearance and functionality. Proper restoration and maintenance, although often overlooked, is essential in order for you to protect and preserve your capital investments.

StructureTec Group has a long history in the evaluation, design and restoration of horizontal structures. One notable project, that utilized the unique capability of StructureTec Group’s design build program for their horizontal restoration project, was Rush Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois.  

Nearly completed weatherproofing installation.
Rush Oak Park Hospital had a long-term water problem in an underground unit of the hospital. The unit had been leaking for nearly 20 years, and the extensive damage had rendered the area unusable costing the hospital valuable space. The hospital had a tenant eager to rent the unit and needed a quick turn-around. With winter rapidly approaching, the client selected StructureTec Group’s design build program, Premier Engineered Systems, to fast track the project.

The cause of the leak was found to be improper below grade waterproofing. Deficiencies such as open seams, splits and cuts allowed water to travel under the membrane to any crack or opening in the structural slab. In addition, the existing drainage board that was designed to funnel water away from the unit was clogged with clay preventing it from functioning properly.

The unit was located directly below the Emergency Room entrance. To complete the construction, the entire parking lot and drive needed to be excavated, requiring the entrance to be at least partially closed to the public. The hospital management decided to close the Emergency Room entrance completely and re-route traffic around the site giving the team full access to the area for 45 days. 

Weatherproofing installation.
Once the lot was excavated and the below grade substrate was exposed, a new fully-adhered, liquid-applied waterproofing membrane system was installed with new a drainage system to effectively route water away from the structure. The team worked double shifts in order to meet the deadline.

The project was completed with a new redesigned driving surface and parking area with more space and an attractively updated look. Rush Oak Park Hospital now enjoys a best-in-class weatherproofed unit that will be leak-free for decades to come.

Finished project.
How are your horizontal structures holding up? Contact us to learn more about our unique design build capabilities and how we can help increase the lifespan of your capital investments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maintaining and Restoring your Parking Structures and Plaza Systems

There is more to parking structures and plaza systems than meet the eye as we learned from Russ Thurston, P.E., National Expert in Horizontal Restoration during his presentation – “Best Practices for Maintaining and Restoring you Parking Structures and Plaza Systems.” The functionality and appearance of facilities are highly impacted by these systems and the upkeep is crucial for the structure’s stability and the safety of patrons.
During the presentation, Mr. Thurston described each system, gave a brief technical overview and highlighted best practices for maintaining and restoring these structures to ensure functional serviceability and structural integrity.
Many were in attendance nationwide for this live webinar presentation on August 20, 2014. Key discussion points and audience questions were:
  • Common concerns of each system
  • Identifying a post tension parking structure
  • Rule of thumb for yearly maintenance costs
  • Guidelines for inspection
Click here to request a link to the recording of the live webinar presentation. Mr. Thurston will also be presenting this topic at the Building Envelope Forum in North Canton, Ohio on September 10th, 2014. This forum is brought to you by Building Construction Technology Educational Center, A division of StructureTec. Click here for more information about the forum.
Mr. Thurston is the Manager of The Restoration GroupSM, a division of StructureTec and primarily focuses on walls, plazas, below-grade waterproofing, and parking garage restoration. He is a registered professional engineer; with over 30 years’ experience focusing on the building envelope and structural concrete restoration. He has investigated building envelope failures and deterioration, designed repairs, and managed all phases of remedial projects.