Award of Excellence: High-Rise Category
Xerox Square Tower Façade Restoration
Rochester, New York
Submitted by Structural Preservations Systems, Inc.
Webster, New York
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Structural Preservation Systems, Inc.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Dow Corning Corporation
Louiston, New York
Xerox Corporation’s 33-story, Xerox Square Tower stands high amid the downtown Rochester, NY, skyline. The elegant façade is constructed of cast-in-place exposed garnet aggregate concrete—a mixture that offers extremely high compressive strengths and a dramatically decorative finish.
On September 25, 1998, vibrations caused by a mild earthquake reached downtown Rochester, causing delaminated concrete to fall from the building’s façade. A subsequent inspection revealed corrosion-induced delaminations and cracks in the concrete, as well as extensive interior honeycombs. Water was also penetrating the building through sealant joints at various locations. Recommendations were made for repairs to the building’s structure, sealants, and curtain wall system.
The repair project began in June 2002 and concluded in October 2005. Mobilization took place each spring and demobilization each fall for four consecutive years. During each phase, crews operated 24 hours per day, 5 days a week. In total, 1638 cubic ft (46.4 cubic meters) of concrete were replaced at 1912 repair locations; 138,000 linear feet (42,062 meters) of sealants were replaced (34,500 linear feet [10,515 meters] per elevation); 2445 linear feet (745 meters) (516 locations) of existing aluminum channel sections were replaced, and 100% of the lockstrip T-gasket system was inspected, and 36,000 linear feet (10,973 meters) were replaced.
In addition to the magnitude of the work, the difficulty in matching the exposed garnet aggregate, the extreme height of the work areas, and the diligence required to protect the public and property presented challenges and learning opportunities.
The contractor’s significant preplanning and thorough coordination of continuous operations created a unified team. Ultimately, by effectively teaming with the consulting engineer and the repair contractor, Xerox ensured the continued beauty and structural integrity of a landmark building.