Village Shores Senior Community

Elevators are a welcome convenience for buildings with multiple floors, but when a new elevator is planned for an existing, occupied structure, the construction process can be challenging.

Western Specialty Contractors – Minneapolis, MN Branch overcame a variety of challenges including unforeseen utilities, heavy tenant traffic, and a tight schedule when it was recently tasked with cutting an elevator opening through five, post-tension cable decks at the Village Shores Senior Community in Richfield, MN.

The scope of work included removal of 540 square feet of 7.5-inch-thick concrete from the ground floor parking garage upward through to the building's fifth floor, detention of 58 PT tendons, installation of new anchors, and cages outside the elevator opening, and retention of 116 tendons.

The Village Shores Senior Community is a 10-story building that sits atop a ground-level parking garage. Commercial tenants occupy the first floor and senior community tenants occupy floors 2-10. The building was 99% occupied at the time of the project.

The first challenge Western crews faced on the project was maintaining the owner's tight schedule of completing one floor per week. Western was able to accommodate the owner's goal by maintaining a strict schedule that called for completing a particular task on the day that it was assigned.

The owner also gave Western crews just two days a week, Monday and Tuesday, to make noise on the project for removing concrete and installing rebar and new anchors. Noise was not permitted during the rest of the week.

The first opening Western cut in the parking garage ceiling posed an unforeseen challenge of its own. The deck had a construction joint and four perpendicular PT tendons running right through it that required Western to detention four additional tendons and move them out of the work area.

Unforeseen electrical mains were discovered at the openings of floors four and five, which were not on the plans. To resolve the obstacle, Western worked with the owner and the project electrician to have the mains re-routed so that Western's work could continue.

As Western crews ascended the floors of the structure, they were faced with even more challenges. They were not allowed to use the only functioning elevator on the site, which was reserved for tenant use, to stage materials, or remove concrete rubble. Western overcame this challenge by lowering rubble down the outside of the structure onto the second floor where it could be dropped through a trash chute to a dumpster.

Western crews were able to complete the two-month project in June 2016 on time and within budget. The architect on the project was Built Form, LLC; Stevens Construction Corp. was the general contractor; and Fink Horesch, LLC was the engineer.



Hector International Airport

Western Specialty Contractors Minneapolis, MN Branch recently restored the masonry facade of the former passenger terminal at Hector International Airport in Fargo, ND. The 6,500-square-foot building is currently being utilized for office space.


With the restoration work focused near the tarmac, Western crews had to take great care to ensure that all worksite debris was thoroughly contained during the two-month project. Located at 1801 23rd Ave. N, Fargo International Airport is home to four airlines with non-stop service to 10 cities.


“We used our standard grinder with shroud and vacuum set up to remove the old mortar,” said Minneapolis Branch Manager Mike Tripp. “But when any large debris fell from the brick facade, it had to be collected immediately and covered or disposed of due to the nearby pedestrians, aircraft and life flight helicopter taking off and landing at any given time. So, it was something that we had to be more cognizant of while working on the tarmac side.”


The scope of the project included 100% tuckpointing of the masonry structure using a Type “O” historic pointing mortar replacement. Western crews also replaced 50 damaged bricks and six architectural concrete cap stones.


Improving the building's water mitigation system was also a priority on the project. Western crews installed tubular weeps, or vents, above each window steel lintel to assist with water drainage. The weeps were drilled directly into the mortar and installed every foot for about 500 feet.


To complete the project, Western crews replaced all sealants with 4,000 lineal feet of silicone, then thoroughly cleaned and sealed the entire building.


The project was completed in November, 2015. The architect on the project was T.L. Stroh Architects of Fargo, ND.



US Bank – Decorative Epoxy Floor Injection

Western Specialty Contractors was contacted to install a new flooring system to replace existing commercial carpet inside the U.S. Bank atrium. The carpet covered an area inside the atrium where pedestrian traffic from the parking garage and restaurant carts passed through on a daily basis. Chemicals from the garage and restaurant were tracked and spilled on the carpet repeatedly. The hallways needed a hard, durable, and aesthetically pleasing floor that could sustain the chemical spills from the restaurant, chloride from pedestrian traffic, and also to blend and match the new flooring to the adjacent granite pavers inside the atrium.

The flooring system was installed during the evening to keep the hallway clear and open during the day.

Federal Reserve Bank – Wall Injection & Waterproofing

Western was contacted to review the condition of an existing 500’ long concrete barrier wall at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. The structure experienced multiple vertical cracks and various signs of deterioration. Western injected 750 lineal feet of vertical cracks in the concrete structure to essentially “bond” the wall back together to prevent further deterioration. The cracks were prepared for injection by mechanically grinding and surface mounting ports over the existing cracks. The cracks were then buttered with Sikadur 31 gel epoxy and the ports were injected with Sikadur 52 structural epoxy. Once the material had cured, the excess epoxy was ground off and the ports were removed; the structural strength had been restored to the wall. A protective waterproof elastomeric coating was applied over the entire concrete surface to add years of protection and resistance to the elements.

BLN Ramp Restoration

Western was contacted to review the condition of a post-tension cable parking deck at an office complex south of Minneapolis. The ramp had been exposed to years of harsh Minnesota winters and road salt deteriorating the concrete and corroding vital post-tension cables in the deck.

The concrete cover over the existing cables in many areas was insufficient. Previous contractor’s attempts to repair and protect the cables had also proven to be inadequate. Western was called in to complete 1,500 square feet of concrete repairs and install a waterproof traffic coating system over 80,000 square feet to protect the concrete and structural post-tension cables.

During the concrete repairs, Western discovered more than 20 broken cables in need of repair due to lack of maintenance and protection. The concrete and cables were repaired along with the installation of a new expansion joint system that had previously leaked. The owner, property manager, and employees were satisfied to know the ramp is now safe and preserved for many years to come.


Parkside Lofts Green Roof

The Minneapolis Branch of Western Specialty Contractors installed a Carlisle Fleece Back roofing system on the newly constructed Parkside Lofts Building. The system was chosen because the roof had to be installed during the winter months.

The 7,000 square foot roof deck was coated with standard type 4 roofing asphalt. A glass felt was embedded in the bitumen. Another mopping of hot asphalt was applied and the fleece back sheet was rolled into the hot material.

The entire roof was completed in one and a half days. Time was saved using this system because there was no down time waiting for roofing membrane adhesives to cure.