As structural engineers, our team of experts is often called in to design the framework of new buildings. But, in addition, structural engineering is often a critical piece of a project to assess the stability of older buildings, and plan the repairs needed to maintain their structural integrity.
That’s exactly what we did when called in to participate in the 515 Tower parking building structure repair. Our role in the project began when the owners called asking for an assessment and reporting to document structural integrity and any repairs needed to maintain the office building and parking structure. Moreover, our team of experts were asked to make accommodations that would help the owners, occupants and neighbors ‘keep their doors open’ throughout the process.
Also known as the HK Building, the 515 Tower is located at about 500 East 100 South in Salt Lake City, and is a noticeable landmark in the community. It was built in the early 1980s, and is an example of modernism in architectural style.
It was built with concrete, towers 14 floors, and stands approximately 188.67 feet tall. The red and white HK logo at the top of the building is a familiar and recognizable sight for many residents, visitors to the area, those who work in downtown Salt Lake City, or students attending the University of Utah.
It’s a building sometimes opened to the public, as well, although its primary use is as a commercial office building. For example, the on-site parking was made available for participants and spectators attending the Salt Lake City Marathon, as the parking structure has more than 600 available spots.
While the 515 Tower isn’t necessarily the tallest building in Salt Lake City — that would be the Wells Fargo building, which stands over 400 feet tall — it’s still a noticeable and recognizable marker on the local skyline.
When the McNeil team of structural engineers was called in, the owners had more concerns than just the needed repairs. They had to work within a budget, wanted to ensure quality control in the project, had a goal to stay operational during the process, and didn’t want to disturb their neighbors.
Taking into account their circumstances and concerns, the McNeil team provided the information they needed to make good decisions, while working within their budget and maintaining the integrity of the project.
After some discussion, they also asked our team to provide oversight of the construction process. That isn’t an out of the ordinary request, either. Structural engineering often includes working with construction teams to fully realize the project, and ensure the highest quality during the process.
Structural engineering, and the expertise needed to make critical building repairs
Our team was able to provide the 515 Tower owners with the following services:
- Budget management
- Oversight of the project bid process to contract with a construction team
- Construction contract administration and execution
- Periodic review of the process with on-site observation to ensure quality
These are the types of services we can provide for all of our structural engineering projects, as well as in the case that our team is called in for construction administration projects.
In the case of the HK Building, the owners asked us to spread the project out over a 3-5 year period to manage costs and reduce interruptions to daily operations. We also wanted to protect the safety and welfare of the tenants of the building throughout the project.
We’re proud to be able to have provided the service and expertise to preserve the building, improve safety, meet the needs of the owners, keep the building’s ‘doors-open’ and available for employees, and serve the interests of the community!