Tearing Down Challenges

Phoenix Award Winner for Innovation in Reconstruction: HarenLaughlin Restoration

HarenLaughlin Restoration (HLR) was invited by a property management firm and its client, the Homeowners Association of Ravello at Briarcliff, to bid for repairs to two four-story condominiums in Kansas City, Missouri, with construction defect-related damages. HLR was awarded the contract and work began around June 2015. Several unique aspects of the project resulted in some logistical challenges but with ingenuity and attention to detail, the firm was able to successfully complete the project under budget and with minimal inconvenience to the individual tenants. “Constant evaluation and adjustments to manpower kept us on schedule,” says HLR Operations Manager Carl Mannino. “We were able to save the owner’s money by finding a more economical way to address a few details in the original design documents.”

 

We were able to think outside the box and accomplish what many in our industry would be afraid to try or wouldn’t even know where to start.

CHALLENGE NO. 1: UNEXPECTED STRUCTURAL DAMAGE

The amount of concealed damage to the structure was definitely an unforeseen factor, says Mannino. Although only 17 structural beams and no columns were originally identified for replacement, HLR found significant damages that resulted in the replacement of 37 beams and 19 columns, as well as multiple floor joists, OSB sheathing, and structural hangers throughout the project. The structural repairs turned out to be significantly more extensive than expected, yet did not cause any significant delays to the schedule due to the diligence of the staff. Any unknown structural damages were promptly repaired to maintain a manageable construction schedule.

CHALLENGE NO. 2: LIMITED ACCESS TO SITE

Because the structures were situated in close proximity to a very steep cliff, roads had to be built for access between and around both structures for adequate access to all work areas. Scaffolding from top to bottom to access all areas was utilized, as well as aerial lifts to combat the access barrier. The safety of all workers was the main concern and the firm’s safety adviser made regular site visits to ensure employees weren’t placed in risky or dangerous situations.

CHALLENGE NO. 3: WORKING AROUND TENANTS

Both structures were fully occupied during the entire span of the project and all crews had to be cognizant of daily clean, parking, and staging areas, the path of egress for the residents with respect to associated parking structures, as well as a general respect for the residents and their property during such an extensive reconstruction. The full-time superintendent was dedicated to the oversight of the project and ensured that residents were not unduly inconvenienced during the reconstruction. All subcontractors and tradesmen were also alerted in advance that the buildings were occupied by tenants so they could plan accordingly.

A PROBLEM-SOLVING MINDSET

Despite these potential roadblocks, HLR was able to promptly reconstruct the buildings while maintaining the ability of homeowners to comfortably live in their residences throughout the reconstruction process. It also cut the costs of the project by nearly $220,000 through the utilization of more cost-effective and efficient stucco and waterproofing techniques in the bodies of the buildings, balconies, and patio stone walls. “This project was very large and complicated, but we were able to think outside the box and accomplish what many in our industry would be afraid to try or wouldn’t even know where to start,” says Charlie Penner, managing partner of HarenLaughlin Restoration. “We’re proud to know that we have corrected a very major problem for the owners.” RIA

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