Walter Reed Army Medical Center Campus Repair & Restoration Services

SK&A’s Repair & Restoration (R&R) Division has conducted various services for multiple existing buildings (Buildings #1, 4, 12, 14-16, 82 & 90) at the Walter Reed redevelopment site.  Services have included building envelope condition assessments (including waterproofing), garage surveys and repairs, as well as assistance/input regarding  “mothballing” or preservation efforts of various buildings onsite.  Construction administration and quality assurance services are also expected to be provided under future requests.   Examples  of completed projects include:

  • Main (Original) Hospital, Building #1.  The site’s original hospital facility, Building 1, was completed in December 1908.  A red brick, three-story structure with a basement level, the building was designed in the “New Georgian” style of the era, with a white cupola and Corinthian columns.  R&R conducted a condition survey of the overall exterior façade, accessible roof areas, building envelope, and structural components.  Review of later mothballing efforts was also performed.  Overall, the structure was deemed in fair condition, however isolated components, such as the building fenestration, showed signs of distress.  A final condition assessment report was prepared, detailing the observations and providing recommendations for repair and maintenance.
  • Abrams Hall, Building #14.  Built in or around 1976, Abrams Hall is a three-story residential building with three levels of underground parking garage for 487 cars.  An elevated plaza is located on the main level and is generally contained by the building.  In preparation for partial renovation of the building for new senior housing, SK&A provided structural design as well as repair & restoration services.  R&R conducted a facade condition survey, including exploratory investigation services from the ground to roof levels. A final condition assessment report was prepared, detailing the observations and providing recommendations for repair, in addition to photographic documentation and repair cost estimates.  Full façade repair drawings and specifications were provided as well.
  • Central Heating Plant, Building #15.  Built in or around 1918, the former Central Heating Plant is a concrete, two-story building, with primarily brick exterior walls and an addition with a veneer facade.  Similar to Building #1, R&R conducted a condition survey of the exterior façade and building envelope of the building, as well as a review of structural components.  The building was found to be in overall fair condition and a final report summarizing recommended repairs and maintenance.

200 Eye Street, SE

Built in 1957, this former printing facility was a five-story building that included a basement level over pile foundations.  In the early 2000’s, the building was renovated to house a telecommunications firm, which was never occupied.  Floors were filled in on all levels and structural column modifications existed on some floors.

Completed in 2012, the building was converted to office space for occupation by various DC Government agencies.  The lowest level was converted to parking and a new two-level parking garage was constructed adjacent to the existing building on the east side.  Lateral stiffness of the building was enhanced using steel braced frames installed before removing the existing precast façade.  New elevator shafts and interconnecting stairs were framed at existing floor plates. Structural services also included the evaluation of existing structural elements for new loading, green roof evaluation and local strengthening.

The project has received the highest level of LEED certification–Platinum, as well as numerous awards of recognition.

733 15th Street, NW (The Woodward Building)

Complete restoration and conversion of a circa 1910 steel and concrete-framed 11-story office building (including one basement level) into a residential apartment building.  Historic restoration activities included modifying floors constructed of terra cotta flat arches with concrete fill, and rehabilitation of the multi-wythe brick façade.  The façade materials also included stone at the lower levels and terra cotta at the uppermost levels.  Several columns were removed in the basement to facilitate parking.  Hydraulic jacks were used to pre-deflect six new steel transfer girders at the ground floor used to replace the columns.  Stairs were reconfigured throughout, terraces added to the roof, and two vehicular elevators added to access the below-grade parking.

The project was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Project Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering by the Structural Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington. 

Hotel Monaco Historic Cornice Repair

Located near the Verizon Center in DC's Penn Quarter neighborhood, Hotel Monaco resides in the former US General Post Office building, a National Historic Landmark.  Built in two phases between 1839 and 1866, the original building was designed by Robert Mills, the same architect who later designed the Washington Monument. Clad in an all-marble facade, the Neoclassical and Palladian-style building was adapted into a hotel in 2002. 

On July 15, 2010, a long section of the decorative marble lower cornice, located on the building's exterior facade, suddenly fell. SK&A's Repair & Restoration Division performed an initial investigation, concluding that the failure was caused by water infiltration through cracked and open mortar joints in the parapet capstone and cornice that expanded during multiple freezing-and-thawing cycles. SK&A also identified additional nearby elements of the cornice in need of repair.

To aid in the selection of replacement marble and repair design decisions, samples of marble and mortar were collected and transferred to a specialized historic testing agency. In addition, petrographic analysis of the existing mortar was performed to determine the type, composition, quantity, and mixture ratio of the binder and aggregates. Upon completion of historic research, the source of the original marble was located in the nearby Beaver Dam quarry in Cockeysville, MD—providing an ideal match of materials as well as a savings in cost and time.

SK&A consequently managed the overall design and execution of the historic repairs. Crews in the field meticulously removed the unstable portions of cornice. In addition to the replacement of the failed pieces, further repairs were completed, including: repointing, Dutchman repairs, face patching epoxy crack injection, pinning and stabilizing of loose and/or exfoliating facade elements and general cleaning of the marble facade with the repair area.

In 2012, the completed project was awarded the National Award of Excellence in the Historic Category by the International Concrete Repair Institute.

1333 H Street, NW Garage/Façade Repairs and Roof Membrane Replacement

Located at the intersection of 14th and H Streets in DC’s Federal Triangle section, the 1333 H Street site consists of the historic Real Estate Trust Building, constructed in the early 1900’s, and a more recent structure built in 1982, which is located above a subterranean parking garage.

As part of a comprehensive property condition assessment, SK&A’s Repair & Restoration Division performed a visual observation of the 12-story building’s exterior envelope, building structure and parking garage.

The parking garage survey included forensic testing of the concrete to evaluate the level of deterioration affecting the garage structure’s integrity.  To initiate a garage repair program, quantity summaries and budget estimates were also prepared. The suspended decks exhibited corrosion of the embedded steel reinforcing and electrical conduits, as well as severe deterioration of the metal decking and structural steel girders. The full garage repair program estimated various categories of full deck replacement and partial depth deck repairs, crack sealing and foundation mat partial depth surface patching. 

Representative areas of the roofs and skylight during the site inspection were also reviewed.  The gravel ballast and concrete pavers located in an isolated area of the main roof were pulled back in order to observe the condition of the membrane and to observe the quality of the roofing construction. Staged access to the exterior façades of the historic Real Estate Trust Building were conducted in order to perform close-up examination of the terracotta elements, masonry and windows. After reviewing prior façade restoration drawings, the building façade was determined to be in need of terracotta repairs and window replacement. The scope also included the replacement of skylights, the complete removal of the existing roofing system and replacement with a two ply SBS modified bitumen system in IRMA configuration.

Consequently, SK&A prepared bidding documents to cover each aspect of the building structure and envelope waterproofing repairs. Additional consulting services included: concrete and masonry repair and renovation; caulking and sealing; reinforcement repair; waterproofing and protection and  structural evaluation and repair.   

Tivoli Theater Mixed-Use Development, 14th & Park Road

A mixed-use development, the project entailed the restoration of the existing 1920s era Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights for use as retail space on the ground floor, office space, and a new, 250-seat, live theater on the second floor.  The project’s scope also featured a new post-tensioned concrete building adjacent to the Tivoli Theater, housing a full-sized Giant Food grocery store and an additional two-story, steel-framed retail and office building with parking, flanking the Tivoli’s northside.

Renovations of the Italian Renaissance Revival-styled theater included a building structure evaluation, preparation of drawings and repair documents, and the performance of quality assurance inspections.  The load-bearing brick masonry had been severely worn and deteriorated and the building structure was undergoing severe corrosion of embedded structural steel elements resulting from water intrusion through cracks in the brick masonry, an open skylight, and failed roofing membrane.  In several areas, the level of corrosion reached the point of complete disintegration of structural steel members.  The structural instability that resulted created a life safety hazard and threatened the structural integrity of the building.

Extensive analysis of the load-carrying capacity of various structural elements led to a successful repair design.  The theater was restored to structurally-sound condition without compromising the building’s historical integrity.

The Whitney (Bethesda Theatre Site)

The Bethesda Theatre was an existing 1960s-era art deco-styled cinema with a prominent marquee.  A historic landmark, the cinema’s streetfront marquee and original ceiling were salvaged and incorporated into a renovated mixed-use project housing new theatres, an 11-story high-rise residential building with 204 units, and street-level retail space.

As part of the Bethesda Theatre mixed-use renovation project, SK&A provided structural engineering services for interior modifications and updates that included the extension of the stage, a new elevator and corresponding foundations and framing and supports for a raised seating platform in the main theatre house.

Alban Towers, 3700 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Complete renovation and modernization of an existing historic, Gothic-Revival style complex into a 226-unit luxury apartment residence.  Designed in 1929 by Robert O. Scholz, the building was originally an apartment hotel and was later converted to Georgetown University student housing in 1973.

The building’s renovation included additions of new elevators and stairway, design of a rooftop observation deck, restoration of the entire facade and related evaluations for new mechanical/electrical systems, as well as structural usage changes for building amenities.  The renovation efforts had to be executed without affecting the building’s original design and character, which was challenging when restoring original building materials such as limestone, brick, plaster, and tile in addition to the replacement of historic doors and windows, that were damaged through the years.

The building was part of a historic preservation program observed by the DC Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service.  Portions of the building including the exterior and interior public spaces were designated historic landmarks and designed in a Jacobean-Revival style.

800 F Street, NW/Spy Museum

Renovation and restoration of 66,000 gsf of space among several existing historic buildings, dating from the latter part of the 19th century for office and retail use.  A 74,000 sf addition to a new, concrete, nine-story residential wing was also added to the southside of the property.

Vacant for many years, water penetration into the buildings damaged the wood floor framing and exterior load-bearing masonry walls of the structures.  The original wood cornice work and floors were restored, when practical, and replaced with matching materials in areas that were deteriorated beyond repair.

SK&A prepared the project specifications and bid documents for the masonry facade, wood floor, and wood cornice restorations, which were reviewed and approved by the DC Department of Historic Preservation.  SK&A was also responsible for the coordination of the masonry facade, wood cornice, and wood floor restorations from the evaluation stage to inspection of the work. The timing of the work was critical due to the variety of trades involved, including new construction.