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Award of Merit: High-Rise Category

Renovation of Soho Beach House
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Miami Beach, Florida

Submitted by Douglas Wood Associates, Inc.


Soho Beach House

Owner
Claro Development
Miami, FL

Project Engineer/
Designer

Douglas Wood 
Assocaites, Inc.
Coral Gables, FL

Repair Contractor
Florida Choice
Contracting
Hollywood, FL

Material Supplier/
Manufacturer

Sika Corporation
Lyndhurst, NJ

Coastal Construction 
Products
Coral Gables, FL

The Soho Beach House (formerly the Sovereign Hotel), located in Miami Beach, FL, is an oceanfront hotel constructed in 1941 and is locally historically designated. The seven-story hotel is coupled with a slender 15-story addition. The building consists of a cast-in-place, reinforced concrete frame with slabs, joists, beams, and columns supported on reinforced concrete pile caps and precast concrete piles.

Due to the complete reconfiguration of interior spaces, numerous assembly uses, and addition of rooftop facilities, the Florida Building Code dictated that the renovated structure be enhanced to comply with current design-load requirements, including wind. In addition to these challenges, the 70-year-old structure suffered from the usual forms of concrete deterioration (cracks, spalls, and corroded reinforcement) as well as damage from previous renovations.

Because the interior was to be entirely reconfigured, all interior finishes were removed. All exterior windows and doors were also removed. Therefore, the entire interior structure was revealed, and a thorough survey of visual inspection and sounding was conducted, followed by an extensive program of materials testing, reinforcing steel detection, and concrete exploration. To minimize the need for expensive structural enhancement, a program of load testing was devised to demonstrate the adequate capacities of typical floor areas. The existing structural systems were assessed using a threedimensional structural analysis program and enhancements to select structural members and to the exterior masonry walls were made. Pile load testing was also performed. 

Although many areas of concrete deterioration were discovered throughout the building, most were associated with sources of long-term water leaks, such as plumbing, windows and doors, roofing, and wall cracks. Concrete restoration included repair of horizontal, vertical, and overhead spalls, and epoxy injection of cracks.

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