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.



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.


Hilton at the Ballpark

In 2011, the Hilton at the Ballpark moved forward with St. Louis’ first outside rooftop bar and dining area. In order for the existing rooftop to handle the increased weight from the new amenities and building structures, the strength of the existing rooftop structure needed an upgrade. Installing carbon fiber reinforcing fabric onto the overhead ceiling directly below the addition was an ideal solution, providing for the required strength upgrade without extensive structural modifications. Western Specialty Contractors, Inc. was awarded the task of installing the carbon fiber reinforcing.

This project included installing the carbon fiber reinforcing in a project-specific design consisting of multiple strips of the MBrace Carbon Fiber in various orientations and layers. In all, a quantity of 2,300 square feet of carbon fiber was installed overhead to meet the carbon fiber design.

First, the existing ceiling finish of plaster with a “popcorn” finish had to be removed by light chipping and residual grinding. Independent pull-off testing was completed to evidence proper surface adhesion upon completion of the ceiling finish removal. Next, lines could be snapped to ensure proper placement of the carbon fiber strips and the saturated carbon fiber could be applied and rolled out onto the ceiling. The challenge for this project was coordinating layout and sequencing of the installation with multiple other trades in tight quarters. Daily coordination meetings with other trades was crucial to a timely completion.

Wyndham Resort – Pool Renovation

Wyndham Resort Tower Four is a 14-story high-rise located on the Atlantic Ocean in North Myrtle Beach, SC. The building has swimming pools, spas, a “kiddie” pool, and several planters located on the fifth floor of the building. They were all leaking into the parking garage directly below. The entire concrete slab, concrete pool shells, and landscape materials were removed to expose the existing structural slab and a new waterproofing system was installed. New bi-level drains were installed in the pool basins and at locations in the slab prior to the application of the new waterproofing system. The new pools, spas, and “kiddie” pool were installed, and a new decorative concrete topping slab placed. The planters were re-landscaped and the playground was reinstalled with new safety surfacing. The project was completed in six months while the building was in use.


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.

Crockett Hotel

The Crockett Hotel stands near where Davy Crockett defended the southeast palisade of the Alamo during a 13 day siege in February – March, 1836. The property was converted from agricultural to commercial use after the war. In 1909, a fraternal organization built the current six-story building to serve as a hotel and fraternal lodge. The seven-story west wing was added in 1927. The building was carefully renovated to preserve its original grandeur in 1982, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Structures. In 2007, Western was contracted to clean exterior masonry, perform miscellaneous tuckpointing, apply a clear sealer, and paint all exterior windows, doors, and fire escapes.