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ICRI 2003 Project Award Winner
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Honorable Mention: Water Structures Category

Repair Structure Damaged by Overloads at C.C. Commercial Plaza Mayor
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Chuao Caracas, Venezuela

Submitted by B.R.S. Ingenieros, C.A.

C.C. Commercial Plaza

Consorcio Immobiliaro Plaza
Chuao Caracas, Venezuela

Project Engineer/
B.R.S. Ingenieros, C.A.
Caracas, Venezuela

Repair Contractor
B.R.S. Ingenieros, C.A.
Caracas, Venezuela

Material Supplier
MBT de Venezuela, C.A.
Caracas, Venezuela

In December 1999, Venezuela was affected by catastrophic floods due to extensive rainfalls that caused great destruction in numerous properties and the lose of many human lives. This project concerns the assessment, design and execution of repair work on a reinforced concrete building that suffered the effects of the overflow of a nearby river that flooded the two lower levels, depositing a large amount of mud and sand; the thickness of the sediment averaged 6.5 feet (2 meters), once water had drained out.

The part of the building that was affected comprises an area of 75,000 square feet (7000 square meters). The structural system was composed of 1 x 2.8 ft (30 x 85 cm) load beams and 1 x 1.3 ft (30 x 40 cm) auxiliary beams in an orthogonal layout. The slabs were 6 in. (15 cm) thick, reinforced in two directions. All columns had a cross section of 1.3 x 1.3 ft (40 x 40 cm). The overload caused the collapse of one sector of the building and general damages extended into the rest of the structure. The damages were mainly shear cracks in beams. The slabs, columns and foundations presented a satisfactory behavior.

A careful evaluation was performed in order to provide a diagnosis and to design the required works for the restoration of the structure based upon the intensity and extension of damages. It was decided to carry out a controlled demolition and reconstruction of the structure in collapsed areas and in parts with severe damages (severe cracks and plastic deformations not recovered in beams). In areas with moderate damages (cracked but without evidence of plastic deformations), the structural properties were restored by the injection of cracks and the application of a composite system based on carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CRFP).

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