Aramark Tower

ARAMARK Tower is a 32-story, 634,000 square foot building located in the Central Business District. The 412-foot tall building, designed by Bower Lewis Thrower Architects, was originally conceived by the Reading Company. Reading was granted development rights for the building in exchange for granting the city easements for developing the Market East Station entrance in the ground floor of the adjacent Reading Terminal. Construction soon began and the building was completed in 1984. ARAMARK Tower currently serves as the global headquarters for ARAMARK Corporation.

Western completed a multi-year repair and improvement program at ARAMARK Tower that consisted of many exterior components. Site protection ensured continued safety of pedestrians, with covered walkways along the 11th Street and Market Street facades. Work included removal of all window and greenhouse gaskets and application of sealant between the glass and framework, with subsequent sealing of the frame joints. The scope also entailed removal and replacement of all mortar and sealant joints at the brick, granite panels and windows, with installation of new weeps.

New waterproofing, flashing and brick masonry ties were installed after removal of exterior brick masonry at selected locations of deterioration. Deteriorated precast concrete coping areas were replaced with new precast and cast-in-place coping stones, or repaired where possible, and an elastomeric coating was applied to all copings. At the penthouse of the building, the existing brick coating was removed, and a new coating was applied.


National Gallery of Art (East Building)

As part of a major restoration effort to the exterior stone facade of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, Western was selected to help with some restoration work in parts of the Gallery’s air shafts. This presented the Western crew with many challenges due to difficult access to work areas, and stringent production and schedule requirements.

The air shafts are triangular in shape and required the use of several different size swing-stage drops. Safety and access became the number one priority for Western.

The interior of the air shafts consist of a brick facade with a thick coating of dampproofing on top of it. This would normally hinder production and the general progression of work, but the crew was able to develop some alternative means and methods to stay on pace with the schedule needs.

The Western crew’s presence went unnoticed by many of the other trades on-site due to their ability to conduct this work at night. This was arranged to help the general contractor maintain a less congested job site. Another requirement of the job was to document progress on a daily basis. Western’s project management team developed progress maps and reports that were submitted each day, along with photos to document the work and support their requests for payment.

Western was presented with several different challenges and numerous obstacles, and they developed solutions to keep the project on time and moving ahead at the correct production rate. This is another example of Western’s approach to making customers partners through a long-term project.

Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel

The Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel was built completely by union contractors. Western Specialty Contractors was selected to apply the below grade waterproofing membrane. The general contractor was very pleased with the quality of Western’s work and in the way the employees conducted themselves on the job site. This gave Western the opportunity to negotiate additional work items.

Western received change orders for 20,000 square feet of hot applied waterproofing on the plaza area and to install stainless steel through wall flashing at the perimeter of the building. The change orders doubled the size of the contract.

Two Western employees were nominated and won awards for craftsmenship from the mayor of Baltimore.

The Zenith Apartments

Western Specialty Contractors recently completed a new construction waterproofing project for Whiting Turner Contracting Company. The work was accomplished at the Zenith Apartments in Baltimore.

Western’s initial project was to dampproof the building’s foundation walls. Once the Western personnel met with the general contractor and further explained all their service capabilities, they were invited to give prices on additional work items.

In additon to the dampproofing, Western completed the following tasks;

  • Traffic deck coating in the parking garage
  • Pedestrian coatings on the balconies and terraces
  • Decorative, waterproof coating on the roof parapet walls
  • Coating the roof elevator machine room walls

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

On Memorial Day 2004, more than 140,000 people attended the dedication of the World War II Memorial on the National mall in Washington, D.C. The monument, with its soaring arches, granite pillars and Freedom Wall, took 17 years of planning and nearly three years of construction to complete. The joint venture of Tompkins Builders and Grunley-Walsh Construction served as general contractor for the project.

In addition to the immense effort that went into constructing the memorial itself, the nearby Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool was leaking and required significant repairs. The Washington D.C. branch of Western Specialty Contractors won the contract to waterproof the pool, which is over one-third of a mile long. But work could not begin until January 2004, allowing just four months to complete the repairs.

“I was proud of the way it all came together” Floyd Parks, Project Manager

“The timeframe was tight, but the weather was really our biggest challenge,” said Floyd Parks, division superintendent and manager of the project. “Concrete and sealants cannot cure properly in near-freezing temperatures. And we had 30 days when the thermometer didn’t rise above 30 degrees.”

To stay on schedule, the crew did prep work on cold days. Chipping hammers and wet-cut saws were used to cut out the joints where the granite coping stone and the sides of the pool met. When temperatures permitted, the joints were recaulked with a combination of urethane grout and silicone sealant. The control joints of the concrete floor of the 18-inch deep pool were also cut out and repaired.

The contract for the job called for completion in four months. Working 10-hour days, seven days a week, the Western crew completed the task in three months.

“I was proud of the way it all came together,” commented Parks, who also advised the general contractor on treating stone that had been inadvertently stained. “There were only four days when the crew was not on the job, and working conditions were downright miserable at times. But we just couldn’t take the chance of not meeting the project schedule.”


Conowingo Dam & Hydroelectric Station

Completed in 1928, the Conowingo Dam and Hydroelectric Station is located on the Susquehanna River between Maryland's Harford and Cecil Counties. The massive structure is nearly a mile long and 100 feet high.

During 1998 and in the spring of 1999, the Washington, DC branch of Western Specialty Contractors replaced the roof on the facility. For the owner and roofing consultant, finding the best firm to handle the high volume, high profile task meant assessing safety records as well as past performance.

The company's safety history was a major factor in the selection process. The entire corporate loss-control manual was submitted with the proposal.

What the owner, Peco, saw was an Experience Modification Rating—of 0.69. The mean is 1.0, so anything below that number is better than average.

In practical terms, that focus on safety meant Western would string reinforced netter in all 60,000 square feet of the work area. But that was just the beginning of the Conowingo challenge. The plant is located on top of the dam, over the Susquehanna, so access for material and debris was a problem. Mechanics and laborers would be working during the winter, when Maryland weather can be something less than hospitable. Moreover, the station was to remain fully operational throughout the roof replacement.

Western's 20-member crew took it all in stride. Beginning in June 1998, they removed existing tile-paver and concrete toppings, as well as the roof membrane. Concrete repairs were then made, and a new roofing membrane installed. More than 1,000 cubic yards of fresh concrete topping was pumped, and deck coating applied. The $2.24 million project was completed in April 1999—on budget, on schedule and with no safety problems.