Norden Hall

Western Specialty Contractors Des Moines, Iowa Branch played an instrumental role in preserving a 134-year-old row house in Des Moines, Iowa originally destined for demolition to make way for expansion of the Iowa State Capitol grounds. Instead, the historic building was moved to a new location in the city's popular East Village neighborhood and repurposed as a restaurant.


Originally designed and built in 1880 by prominent business leader Samuel Green for his family, the building, formerly named Norden Hall, has served as a private residence and home to three Scandinavian community groups. Built on the western edge of the Iowa State Capitol grounds, private developer Jake Christensen was determined to save one of the city's oldest historic landmarks. He accomplished this by moving the 440,000-pound building four blocks from 707 E. Locust to a new foundation at 435 E. Grand.


The building was in need of miscellaneous masonry repairs and was not watertight. Western crews started the project by waterproofing the foundation and replacing all of the building's joint sealants. Western then began the process of resealing the structure by cleaning its entire surface to remove any residue that had accumulated over time. Miscellaneous tuckpointing was performed throughout. Spray- applied concrete, or shotcrete, was then sprayed on the building's entire west elevation to add structural integrity to the deteriorated masonry wall. Once the new concrete had cured, a textured acrylic coating was applied to the west elevation to waterproof the wall and maintain its historic appearance.


The building now houses a wine bar and has been registered as a historic landmark.


“Historians from Des Moines are proud of the work that was done to preserve this important part of the city's history. This piece of history could have been lost forever, but through the efforts of Western Specialty Contractors, general contractor Beal Derkenne Construction and Slingshot Architecture, this building will stand for many more years to come and continue to be enjoyed by the city's residents,” said Des Moines Branch Manager Tom Longer.



Quality Inn

The Quality Inn Hotel in Des Moines is located near one of the largest entertainment centers in the state, the Wells Fargo Arena. Since this is a high traffic area, the hotel owners decided to upgrade and update the exterior of the building.

The owners liked the appearance and texture of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System). Insulation was not a concern in this application however, and was taken out of the system. The building’s vertical columns and horizontal beams were prepared and a new EIFS coating system was installed. New sealant was also installed at critical movement locations and window frame perimeters.

The updated colors and appearance are inviting to the public and expectations are high for the upcoming season.


Lutheran Hospital

The concrete slab at the employee entrance at Lutheran Hospital is exposed to all types of weather through the year. Exposure to deicing materials caused the concrete to deteriorate, requiring repair. The schedule for completion of the work was difficult since the entrance could only be closed for two days.

Western Specialty Contractors' Des Moines office was selected to complete the repair. A new flexible epoxy was utilized for the work. The material has a rapid cure time, both for patching and coating. This was essential for this project.

The work was completed in two days and the entrance is ready to safely serve the hospital employees again.

Holiday Inn Downtown

Iowa winters are tough on concrete buildings and structures. The parking deck at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Des Moines was no exception. Exposed to the elements and deicing salts, the top level had ongoing maintenance issues due to the deterioration of the existing concrete. Patching concrete spalls in several locations was not in the best interest of the hotel owners for long term repair.

Shuck Britson Engineers were contacted to survey the deck and then develop a restoration specification. Based on the engineer’s design, repairs would be made on a much larger scale. Western Specialty Contractors was awarded the contract for work.

After logistics were covered concerning phasing of the work and installation of shoring, demolition began. Once the deteriorated concrete was removed, approximately 7,500 square feet of new topping slab was placed in four phases.

The project was completed in early fall.

Trinity Regional Medical Center

In January of 2012 Western Specialty Contractors was awarded the contract for the first phase of a three year facade restoration project at the Trinity Regional Medical Center in Rock Island, IL. Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc. in Cleveland, OH was the Construction Manager on the project. The work consisted of masonry restoration on the main hospital tower, as well as restoration of multiple satellite buildings on the campus. Phase one began in the spring of 2012 and was completed later that fall. Western’s crew of 11 craftsmen spent most of the year working from suspended swing stages on all elevations of the main tower. The work for all phases of restoration will consist of the following:

  • 2,000 LF – Shelf Angle Replacement with New Through-Wall Flashing
  • 50,000 LF – Joint Sealant Replacement
  • 12,000 SF – Tuckpointing
  • 8,500 EA – Miscellaneous Brick Replacement
  • 96,000 SF – Penetrating Sealer at Masonry/Precast Surfaces
  • 1 Area – Complete Removal & Replacement of Concrete Stairway

It is anticipated that Western will be awarded phase two and three of the project, with all work being completed by the end of 2014.


Park Place Condos

Western Specialty Contractors was recently called upon to evaluate the condition of the cast in place concrete deck at the Park Place Condo building in Des Moines. During the visual inspection Western documented many areas of spalled concrete, along with deteriorated structural concrete beams and columns. Leaks were evident between one floor to the next and there was concern for the overall structural integrity to portions of the ramp. Western provided the owner with a report containing repair recommendations, along as well as a cost estimate for the necessary work items. Western also provided the name of a local engineering firm that specializes in concrete restoration projects.

A few months later Western was asked to submit a bid on the project and was ultimately selected as the contractor to perform the work. One requirement of the contract was to complete all work on a very stringent time schedule.

Park Place condos are home to over 500 residents, most of whom use the parking garage on a daily basis. During restoration work the ramp would need to be completely closed down and resident parking relocated to another ramp a couple blocks away. The maximum amount of time the ramp could be closed down would be 4 weeks.

Western Waterproofing began work the first part of September. The work items included over 1,000 square feet of full depth concrete replacement and more than 5,000 square feet of partial depth repairs. Two structural concrete beams were also repaired as well. Galvanic anodes were used at all the full depth areas to help resist future corrosion damage. The work was completed within the budgeted amount and time specified.

The newly placed concrete was allowed to cure for approximately one month. Western then returned to install a new three-layer urethane vehicular deck coating system with sand for maximum skid resistance across the entire drive surface.