This was a loft conversion building in the city's south loop.
Balconies were added to this building during the conversion to residential, and the balconies were improperly connected to the building's structure.
A typical balcony connection that required repair with the surrounding masonry showing signs of distress.
A typical balcony connection being reanchored to the under-lying structure.
Due to the stress of the balconies and rusting of under-lying steel, several areas of brick masonry had to be removed and rebuilt.
A view of the façade during restoration.
This industrial building was converted into loft condominiums in the 1990’s. Structural steel framing, cast-in-place reinforced concrete framing and load bearing brick masonry were used at different areas on the building, each lending to different distress conditions and subsequent repairs. As with many loft conversions, balconies were added to the exterior of the units.
After a thorough investigation by the project Architect and Structural Engineer, an extensive repair program was implemented to remediate many structural deficiencies that existed on the building. The deficiencies resulted from a lack of sufficient maintenance over several decades.
The distressed brick masonry “skin” was peeled away so that repairs could be executed on the structural steel frame. New brick was installed that matched the original in color, texture and size. Twelve-inch thick brick masonry parapet walls, leaning outward as much as 6-inches, were dismantled and rebuilt. At some locations balcony connections were removed and replaced with newly engineered connection assemblies. Interior iron brackets, used to support the heavy timber floor beams, were severely corroded and needed to be replaced. Central worked closely with the structural engineer to design a cost effective repair that minimized the time spent in the unit owner’s homes. Necessary tuckpointing of eroded mortar joints were performed though out the façade. Sealant was replaced around the window perimeters as well. Deteriorated and spalling cast-in-place concrete surgically removed, corroded steel was cleaned and painted with an epoxy coating, and supplemental reinforcing steel was added and then patched with a specified concrete repair material.
Central’s extensive repairs will help to preserve this loft conversion for generations of future residents.