Award of Merit: Special Projects Category
Penn Center Plaza Rehabilitation
Submitted by Restruction Corporation
Penn Center Property
Richard Buss Design
The 3100 square feet (288 square meters) Penn Center Plaza structure was deteriorating due to poor water proofing. The deterioration was affecting the concrete and brick architectural wearing surface as well as the intermediate structural level and parking garage below.
Twelve planter boxes built using cinder block walls determined the architectural elevation. Deterioration in the planter box waterproofing, along with water leakage at the joints between the structural slab and the planter boxes, was found. Large amounts of water were penetrating the existing membrane and creating minor flooding in the garage below.
Rehabilitation of the existing concrete at the intermediate structural slab and membrane replacement was necessary to prevent more leakage into the garage below. After demolition of the existing 4 in. (10 cm) wearing slab and membrane, bilevel drains were installed to drain the architectural slab and intermediate structural level.
The wearing slab lacked the slope to effectively drain the plaza, contributing to the deterioration. Crickets were installed around new and existing drains to improve drainage of the intermediate structural level. A snowmelt system was installed in pedestrian walkway areas. A fabric-reinforced hot rubber waterproofing system was used both inside the existing planter boxes and on the intermediate structural level to prevent future leakage. To maintain low weight, insulation board provided the final elevation between the architectural and structural levels. The new architectural wearing surface was tooled and color-coordinated to mimic the previous brick pattern. This project had to be completed in two separate phases to maintain pedestrian traffic to the office building.
The durability of the phased remedial measures has resulted in a cost-effective repair strategy that could be tailored to the client’s funding, which means that this vital part of infrastructure remains in use.