Do you have a building that needs a facelift? Maybe you are a new owner and are looking to renovate the interior? Perhaps you have acquired an existing facility that needs to upgrade processing lines and equipment. Or maybe your current facility is changing occupancy and needs a mechanical upgrade.
When working with existing facilities, a few questions usually come up in the beginning: When was the building built? What type of structure is it? Do construction drawings exist? The first step to working with existing facilities is to perform a visual site survey to evaluate how the building was constructed. However, there are times when the structure is not visible without doing some exploratory work. If this is the case, the structural engineer coordinates with a contractor to perform strategic removal of finishes to better understand how the structure was built. These surveys allow us to document the existing structure and collaborate with the drawings (if available).
Once the existing building is documented, the design phase can start. Some design items that typically are desired in renovating existing buildings include removing load-bearing walls, adding new equipment to structures, or changing occupancy requiring a code mandated increased floor load. Occasionally there are design items that are unforeseen until construction and demolition activity have started. Maybe there is a column that was concealed in a wall that was not shown on existing drawings but needs to be moved or removed for the new building concept. Sometimes underground utilities are encountered that were not anticipated. Whether it is removing a bearing wall or adding/changing loads to an existing building a structural engineer can be employed to design new supports or reinforce the existing elements without inhibiting the intended function of the space.
If you would like to learn more about our firm or projects where we have performed structural engineering for renovations and modifications to existing buildings, please contact us.