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ICRI 2010 Project Award Winner
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Award of Merit: Strengthening Category

Structural Strengthening of a Multistory Complex
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Middle East

Submitted by Structural Preservation Middle East

Multi-Story Complex

Real Estate Investment & Services Co. (REISCO)
Abu Dhabi, 
United Arab Emirates

Project Engineer/

Jacobs CRSS 
International, Inc.
Abu Dhabi, 
United Arab Emirates

Repair Contractor
Stuctural Preservation 
Middle East
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Material Supplier/

Abu Dhabi, 
United Arab Emirates

VSL V Wrap Systems
Hanover, Maryland

In 2009, a five-tower mixed-use development was near completion in the heart of a city in the Middle East. The towers of the complex ranged in height from 36 to 50 stories tall, with all of the towers sitting upon an eight-story podium base common to all five towers, which were predominantly constructed of cast-in-place reinforced concrete. The owner decided to add several levels to each of the towers. To build the additional floors, many of the existing structural elements (beams, columns, link beams, and transfer girders) had to be upgraded to increase the axial load capacity and lateral resistance of the building. Work environments for any strengthening would have to accommodate a range of building phases, from concrete shell only to almost-complete finishes. 

Preliminary evaluations determined that externally bonded carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and concrete enlargements would be ideal solutions. This combination provided the most economical and effective solution for the set budget and schedule. 

This successful project had many unique factors regarding scope, size, time frame, work environment, language, and culture. A common challenge throughout the project was balancing engineering needs and constructibility. Working vertically in sequenced phases, in five 50-story buildings that ranged from raw concrete to almost fully finished spaces, required a very cooperative process and relationship between the engineer, contractor, and owner. To make this project a success, the team worked in a timely manner toward developing unique solutions for each element that could be physically constructed and still meet the strengthening and schedule requirements—and this was done over 1000 times! With everyone working together, the project was successfully completed ahead of schedule.

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