M&I Plaza

The busy main entrance of downtown high-rise office tower, M&I Plaza, had undergone years of deferred maintenance since its original construction in 1988. New ownership and onsite property management teamed up with Western Specialty Contractors to tackle severe plaza deterioration and water leak issues from the plaza into the underground parking garage. Western’s expertise in solving plaza related problems and troubleshooting difficult repair situations led to CBRE awarding the Indianapolis Branch a contract to perform the necessary repairs.

The Problem:
During the investigation, it was discovered the failed waterproof membrane between the garage roof and topping slab was causing leakage into the garage below, but that wasn’t the only issue. The original design of the topping slab covering the structural concrete deck consisted of very thin granite pavers set in mortar intended to provide surface drainage to two area drains located near the center of the plaza. A majority of pavers were cracking due to the deterioration of the setting bed underneath the pavers caused by water entering failed caulk and mortar joints around the pavers. The potential for trip hazards was a major concern for building management and their tenants. Furthermore, water drainage issues and defects from original construction existed throughout the plaza causing severe corrosion of structural elements at the base of large granite clad concrete columns.

The Solution/ Scope of Work:
Western worked closely with building management and the manufacturer to develop an innovative solution and detailed scope of work. Western installed 2’ by 2’ pavers on high-tab pedestals with open joints between the pavers to allow water to drain freely below the walking surface to drains located at the structural roof level. Surveying had been done during preliminary exploratory work to ensure the underlying garage roof had the correct slope to direct the water to existing drains. The existing topping slab, consisting of both concrete and granite pavers, and failed waterproof membrane needed to be completely removed down to the structural concrete deck. Repairs made to the structural concrete and prep work to the existing substrate was necessary for the success of the newly hot-applied waterproofing membrane system being installed. The system also included a drainage mat to filter and direct water to the drains, and additional drains were installed to provide drainage in some locations. Once the new membrane was installed, a water test of the entire plaza was performed and passed. Approximately 2,000 new granite pavers were then installed.

The Schedule:
Prior to the start of the project, a mutually agreed upon schedule and phasing plan was developed with building management to keep the busy main entrance open throughout the five-month long project.

The Results:
The project was completed on time and within budget. Ownership and building management were pleased with the results. CBRE reported positive feedback from tenants following the completion of the project. Working closely with the manufacturer, an extended warranty on both the new waterproof membrane and paver system was offered to the owner upon completion.


Columbus Regional Data & Technology Center

The metal facade on the Columbus Regional Data & Technology Center had experienced leaks in the building’s exterior skin. Existing gaskets were failing and falling out. Western Specialty Contractors' Indianapolis branch worked with the owner to tackle the problem.

Western decided to use Dow’s 123 preformed silicone tape over the metal-to-metal joints because of the extreme movement. Prior to installing the tape, Western completed a mock up sample for the owner and waited three months to determine if the material selection was correct for this situation.

Once the 90 days past, Western installed 6,100 lineal feet of 123 strips over the metal-tometal joints. Western also installed 1,500 lineal feet of wet glazing.


Pyramids I, II, & III

The Pyramids I, II, and III office buildings are unique in their design. The mixed use buildings house both schools and community offices. They are exposed to a great deal of pedestrian traffic. Periodically, exterior maintenance and waterproofing tasks are undertaken.

Recently, the Indianapolis branch of Western Specialty Contractors was hired to inspect and repair leaks on the building’s curtain wall exterior. Because of their design, Western utilized special swing stage equipment. The high amount of traffic around the complex limited the time that Western crews were allowed to work. Safety was of high importance.

Western’s scope of work included the installation of Dow’s 123 pre-formed silicone strips over the curtain wall joints, sealant replacement, and the application of a high performance coating.

Western has the opportunity to work on these buildings, performing repair and maintenance work over the past five years. We look forward to additional work with the building manager, Cushman & Wakefield.


Waste Water Treatment Plant

Western Specialty Contractors was recently called upon to install “hot applied” waterproofing as a seal around two digester tanks at the West Lafayette Waste Water Treatment Plant. The tanks were approximately 180’ in length.

The scope of work included the following work items:

  • Installation of hot applied waterproofing around the perimeter of the two digesters, approximately 4” wide, 3’ deep, and 180’ long.
  • Installation of bond breaking tape and perimeter sealant and then the installation of cove sealant around each perimeter.

Western completed this project with the help of their corporate safety department, on time, and within budget.


Donald Ross Golf Course

The Indianapolis branch of Western Specialty Contractors recently completed restoration work at the Donald Ross Golf Course. The course is part of the newly renovated French Lick Springs Resort. Originally completed in 1917 by world renovated architect, Donald Ross, this legendary course has been home to many regional and national tournaments, including the 1924 PGA Championship.

The course underwent an incredible transformation in collaboration with the Donald Ross Society.

Western worked with the resort to restore the clubhouse patio area. The scope involved the removal of an existing coating and the old sealants. New sealants and a cementitious patio coating system were then installed.

Western was pleased to have involvement with this famous Indiana landmark.


Marram Hall at Indiana University

Western Specialty Contractors completed an exterior waterproofing project at Marram Hall on the northwest campus of Indiana University. The work involved exterior cleaning and sealant replacement of the four story limestone building.

Western cleaned 62,000 square feet of limestone. More than 14,000 lineal feet of limestone joint sealant was replaced, along with 4,400 lineal feet of window and door perimeter sealant. The work was completed with the use of boom lifts.

The work had to be completed on a Tuesday through Friday work schedule because of classroom activity in the building.