It is the structural engineer who has a true understanding of the materials within the Built Environment when approaching a restoration project and can cause the least insult to those materials that is the true Restoration Engineer.
Consider the Acronym “SIP vs ROAR” (Stabilize-In-Place vs Rip-Out-And-Replace) as it relates to;
- Cost to the material of the structure
- Cost to the environment with removal rather than stabilization
- Cost to the owner
- Time extension for completion
- Inconvenience to occupants
- Encroachment on adjacent properties
- Additional support structures during restoration
- And the list goes on!
Before our BOMA members pick their Engineer for the next LL11 Cycle think about asking the following two questions to you prospective engineer.
- Do flexible wall ties need to be replaced with more flexible wall ties during a restoration where they are found deficient and ask for reasoning for either response? Are rigid ties acceptable?
- Your building is in Manhattan and your parapet shows signs of distress. Which one, two, three or all of the following typically face the most distress; 78th Street side, 77th Street side, Madison Avenue side or Park Avenue side?
Europe has been training restoration engineers both in school and on the job for more years than our country has existed. While there are currently several efforts underway by engineers like Michael Drerup to establish graduate programs here in the United States we are only recently beginning that effort so most restoration engineers trained here in the US are validated by their time in the field. If your potential engineering firm does less than 50 percent of their work in restoration you may want to reconsider. It is not the building’s they have built, rather the buildings they have saved.