In wake of the current economic situation as well as the devastating natural disasters that have occurred in recent times, repair and renovation of existing structures, especially concrete structures is imperative. With the prices of real estate as low as they are, many have elected to purchase existing buildings rather than build and more owners opt to update rather than replace existing buildings.
This current trend has re-opened the door to repair and renovation as well as increased awareness of concrete restoration needs.
Additionally, much of the infrastructure within our country and abroad is due for an upgrade. We can look at the many dams requiring modifications, bridges that are the life line of cross-country transportation needing structural strengthening, and historical government buildings requiring repair for their ensured preservation. As we look to these needs, we must address the structural issues at hand for safety, for security, and for the preservation of the many concrete buildings, dams, and bridges that have become iconic in nature.
Renovating existing structures brings many challenging elements to the table, yet there are solutions. A major issue faced in renovating is changing the intended use of the concrete structure or modifying the concrete design to bring the building from the initial designed use up to current use needs, municipal code or user required capabilities.
Many considerations must be made in the design giving special attention to the concrete load carrying capacity of the building, parking structure, warehouse, etc. Once the new need and load is determined, the engineer may call for structural strengthening using various mediums. On many occasions, repair work is mandatory to regain the structural integrity of the concrete that is being restored. This repair work may come in the form of spall repair, epoxy injection, or modifying expansion joint systems in a parking garage to provide a safe and usable environment.
Not only are concrete structures today requiring repair, they are also requiring protection. Many owners are deciding to strengthen their structures, to be proactive, in the event we face a natural disaster such as an earthquake as experience in Japan. Our firm has recently been contacted by Japanese investment property owners seeking professional advice and services as they have an “increased need for robust structural reinforcement solutions” due to the recent earthquake.
Fiber-Reinforced Polymers (FRP) have been used worldwide for over 20 years in the retrofitting of concrete buildings and provides structural strengthening in both reactive and proactive applications. FRP strengthening is likely to be a common restoration process for the strengthening of concrete structures in Japan and in the United States as well.
Strict Building Codes
It has been reported that the building codes and procedures in place in Japan are very stringent and can be thanked for not causing more devastation despite the magnitude of the earthquake. Whether being proactive in preparing a concrete structure for a natural disaster or responding to wear on a building due to time and the elements, concrete restoration is critical for the longevity of all concrete structures. Spalling concrete, cracked concrete, and structural retrofit requirements must be addressed to protect the investment, to preserve the structure, and to ensure the safety of those in and around the concrete structure.
We, Elite Concrete Restoration, have been involved in many repair and renovation projects both domestically and internationally and have the experience, professionalism, and expertise to provide you with the repair and renovation services unique to your needs.