ICRI 2009 Project Award Winner
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Award of Merit: Historic Category

Boulder Colorado Union Pacific Railroad Depot Strengthening and Repair
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Boulder, Colorado

Submitted by BASF Construction Chemicals/Building Systems

Boulder Colorado Union Pacific Railroad Depot

City of Boulder—Public Works
Boulder, Colorado

Project Engineer/

The Leffler Group
Broomfield, Colorado

Repair Contractor
Restoration Specialists, Inc.
Broomfield, Colorado

Material Supplier/

BASF Construction Chemicals/Building Systems
Shakopee, Minnesota

The Boulder Colorado Union Pacific Railroad Depot, built in 1890, originally served as the terminus for Union Pacific in Boulder City. It was used over the years for various functions, but eventually sat vacant and fell into disrepair. When the privately owned land was scheduled for redevelopment, the depot needed to be moved. As one of the oldest surviving structures in Colorado, the goal was to move the structure to its new location, refurbish it, and use it as the terminus for a new city transportation hub. Due to water damage and uneven settling, combined with the age and historical significance of the depot, the structural stability of the building needed to be improved prior to the move by reinforcing the interior walls. 

A pumpable grout was used to infill the voids between the inner and outer wythes, the interior walls were repaired using a fiber-reinforced repair mortar, carbon fiber strips were applied in a 2 ft (0.6 m) square grid pattern, and an epoxy adhesive was used to anchor pins and plates embedded every 2 ft (0.6 m) at the intersections of the carbon fiber strips. The unique strengthening and repair approach allowed the preservation and relocation of the entire historic depot rather than demolishing it or having to disassemble and reconstruct the entire building. The combination of materials used meant that the contractor had over 100,000 lb (45,359 kg) less building to move, which translated into approximately $400,000 in savings. 

The solutions used prevented building components from entering the landfill, preserved the embodied energy of the structure, and preserved several resources. The restoration team’s knowledge and expertise enabled the convergence of restoration and the benefits of mass transit, as the depot will be used as a mass transit hub for the Boulder community.

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