This project was performed within an occupied, functioning U.S. Courthouse located in a downtown urban environment with a limited staging area. This project was to provide a sound structural roof system within the existing lightwell to serve as the floor for the future installation of a new Courtroom. The Lightwell is an old architectural feature – an open area in the middle of a building designed to bring natural light to the interior rooms on the lower floors. The Lightwell in the Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse was open from the top of the six-floor down to the first-floor. The existing first floor roof system was approximately 4,500 sf but was not adequate to support the new Courtroom.
The project involved the removal of an existing roof system and replacement with a new structural steel and poured concrete roof system. Prior to commencing with demolition that could have compromised the weatherproofing properties of the existing roof system, a primary and secondary weatherproofing was installed. This required close coordination between the A/E team members as well as the GSA project manager due to the complex nature of the water intrusion plan.
Due to the height of the building, a 280+ foot crawler crane had to be used in the project. A great deal of care and expertise was applied in maneuvering the crane through the small confines of the downtown streets.
The Valiant team overcame several challenges while minimizing cost and schedule impacts. The first challenge was the unforeseen asbestos. The second was the changes in the structural steel drawings made late in the construction process based on GSA needs. Another challenge was limiting disruptions to the normally functioning courtrooms. Valiant met this challenge by performing work after hours. Together, all challenges were overcome and the project was delivered on budget.