Industrious was the intrinsic feeling one got standing on the expansive second floor gazing up at the grand steel girder trusses that spanned 100 feet across the full width of the Cash Feed Building, a local historical landmark constructed in 1925. The site was perfectly suited for Catapult, a community-centered coworking space striving to foster the growth and prosperity of entrepreneurial startup businesses.
With the mindful intention of preservation and restoration, the design team set forth to renovate the unoccupied building. BillerReinhart was tasked to establish load capacities of existing structural systems, design strengthening systems for the building’s adaptive reuse, design repairs for deteriorated components, and design elements for additions. BillerReinhart also performed forensic geo-technical exploration and engineering evaluation services to develop allowable soil bearing capacities of existing and new foundations. Critical upgrades included subsoil improvement by chemical permeation grouting and enhancement of exterior wall stability by designing lateral bracing systems for the east and west walls that integrated through the existing steel girder trusses and into the steel framing of the new third floor structure.
Catapult 2.0 building restoration officially commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 9, 2017. The interior floor slab on grade was removed and chemical permeation grouting began. The building renovation seemed to be well underway.
However, on September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma had other plans.
(To be continued.)