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ICRI 2014 Project Award Winner
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Award of Excellence: Low-Rise Category
Project of the Year Finalist

Courthouse Square
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Salem, Oregon

Submitted by Structural Group

Courthouse Square

Marion County
Salem, OR

Project Engineer/

Whitlock Dalrymple Poston & Associates
Manassas, VA

Repair Contractor
Elkridge, MD

By the late 1990s, the Marion County Commissioners in Salem, OR, had acquired 100 percent ownership of the block between Court and High Streets in their effort to consolidate county services in one location. In September 2000, a five-story Courthouse Square complex including municipal space, retail, offices, a public transportation center, and underground parking was opened to the public. 

Two years after opening, issues with the building and transit mall began to emerge. Significant defects were found in the columns, shear walls, slabs, footings, and the masonry-clad building envelope. To address these issues and develop a future course of action, the Courthouse Square Solutions Task Force was appointed and decided on remediation through a design-build delivery approach.

The extensive design-build plan consisted of structural upgrades to the building and parking garage. Proven construction techniques and technology-driven products were chosen for the repairs to the columns, slabs, and walls. Repairs required concrete enlargement, column capitals, and use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcing systems.

The repair methodology was varied, involving a combination of strengthening methods. Spatial restrictions faced in the design approach and the finished spaces around which crews had to work added to the project’s complexity. The column enlargement and shear cap installation was performed with self-consolidated concrete, and pumped to great heights and over long distances, all while protecting interior finishes. 

The successful completion of repairs provided the owners with a rejuvenated building to house a variety of county departments without having to demolish and construct a new facility. This was a successful collaborative model project for cooperation and teamwork. 

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