Award of Merit: Longevity Category
Quadgraphics Floor Rehabilitation
West Allis, Wisconsin
Submitted by Degussa Building Systems
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Kann & Associates
Watts Restoration, Inc.
Tom Brown, Inc.
A Korean War-era machine tool plant was closed and out of business. The State of Wisconsin had taken ownership of the abandoned facility. Jobs had been lost; the property taxes were off the City of West Allis’s books. What was to be done?
In 1994, QuadGraphics, of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, purchased the property and converted the old factory into a modern color printing and binding facility. The first step of conversion had to be the floors. This step was a big one; the 613,000 square ft of this more than 50 year-old facility had 8 in.-thick concrete floors surfaced with 2 1/4 in. thick, 3 x 5 in. wood block set in mastic. In addition, there were large pits where production machinery had operated since the 1950s.
The pits had to be filled, the wood block removed and the floor changed to a flat, non-dusting, wear resistant surface suitable for a modern high production printing plant. Inspection by the owner’s engineers found the floor was structurally sound. However, test cores taken from the floor revealed 40 years of machine tool production had left much of the concrete floor oil saturated.
Experienced concrete repair contractors know installation of bonded toppings can be chancy. Installing a bonded topping over an oil saturated concrete base would be a world-class challenge. The solution was a unique combination of surface preparation, chemical and mechanical bonding materials/methods, concrete design and logistical planning.
Eleven years later the floor is meeting the demands of twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week operation. Except for a few slightly worn joint areas, the floor has required no repair. The maintenance needs, just regular cleaning, have not changed since the floor was placed in service.