ICRI 2011 Project Award Winner
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Award of Excellence: High-Rise Category

Bellaire Tower — The Jewel of Russian Hill
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San Francisco, California

Submitted by Sika Corporation

Bellaire Tower

The Bellaire Homeowners Association
San Francisco, California

Project Engineer/

JFM Enterprises, Inc. (Consultant)
San Francisco, California

Repair Contractor
Everest Waterproofing & Restoration, Inc.
San Francisco, California

Material Supplier/

Sika Corporation
Lyndhurst, New Jersey

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (Consultant)
Emeryville, California

Bellaire Tower, located at 1101 Green Street, San Francisco, CA, sits at the top of Russian Hill. The tower, known as the “Jewel” of Russian Hill, was designed by architect H.C. Baumann, a prolific San Francisco architect who designed over 400 apartment buildings and hotels during his career. Built in 1930, it was one of the first post-earthquake (1906) residential high-rise buildings in San Francisco constructed to new seismic codes. The tower performed extremely well in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Today, Bellaire Tower is home to many prominent lawyers, judges, and even the Mayor of San Francisco. It is admired as a San Francisco landmark. Unfortunately, in the last 20 years, Bellaire Tower has had the dubious fame of being the luxury building with the most water leaks in the Bay Area.

The art deco building had a long history of poor maintenance. The primary problem was water leakage in and around the windows. Over the past 25 years, the building was recoated several times, resulting in the accumulation of over 90 mils (2.3 mm) of nonbreathable coating(s) over the concrete. Spalling of the concrete resulted in both a safety hazard and an unsightly appearance of a high-profile building.

A thorough mockup was completed in 2004. The repair project started in the spring of 2007 and was completed in the summer of 2010. The extensive work included removing and abating the existing, built-up coatings; concrete repair work; corrosion protection; and the restoration and replacement of over 600 windows, followed by the application of new sealants and coatings. The Board was so pleased at the conclusion of the project that the President was overheard saying, “The building is sound, waterproofed, and looking great. The Jewel of Russian Hill is reborn and looking better than ever.

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