Award of Merit: Masonry Category
Litton Reaves Hall Masonry Façade Repairs
Submitted by Whitlock Dalrymple Poston & Associates
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Whitlock Dalrymple Poston
Carolina Restoration & Waterproofing, Inc.
Creedmoor, North Carolina
Guaranteed Supply Company
Raleigh, North Carolina
Litton Reaves Hall, located on the campus of Virginia Tech, is a multi-use laboratory and classroom facility that houses the university’s Animal Science Department. Originally constructed in 1981, the building had been in continuous service for almost 20 years before symptoms of distress began to appear in the building’s exterior cladding. Cracking and lateral displacement of the brick veneer and limestone panels led to the university’s growing concern about the stability of the masonry façade. Subsequently, a study of the exterior masonry cladding was commissioned to identify the causes of the visible distress and develop repairs that would extend the service life of the façade.
A consulting engineering firm was hired to investigate and design repairs for the building’s exterior cladding. The cause of the damage to the façade was determined to be unaccom-modated masonry expansion, coupled with deficiencies in the lateral and vertical supports. The structural issues found through the investigation were exacerbated by serviceability problems such as air and water infiltration to the interior. A new stone masonry building was also to be erected adjacent to the Litton Reaves facility, presenting aesthetic challenges for the university architect and construction coordination issues for the repair team. Repair alternatives were organized, prioritized, and ultimately implemented to fit the university’s “design-to” budget.
The repair program offered unique structural repair and sequencing challenges due to the redistribution of forces within the veneer system, the damage to the existing façade, and the fact that the building and surrounding grounds were to remain occupied throughout construction. Specialty contractors were selected to perform masonry repairs, install new windows throughout the building, and stain the exterior masonry so the façade would visually blend with the adjacent stone structure and surrounding buildings on campus.