The West Building exhibited large horizontal cracks in the plaster of lab and office space. Oates Associates conducted a field investigation of the interior and exterior of the building to observe deficiencies and identify the cause of the issues. Upon review of partial construction plans from 1912 and 1996, along with field observations, repairs were recommended to prevent further damage.
The crack in the wall of the office was located below the original skylight framing. The skylight was removed during renovations in 1973, but the framing was incorporated into the renovated roof support. The skylight framing system consists of several interconnected concrete beams that were embedded in the masonry wall. Masonry pilasters were not used to support the beams at these locations and the exterior appeared to have moved, causing the cracks.
Oates provided recommendations and an opinion of probable cost to address the deficiencies, and was then contracted to provide structural design services for the repairs. Two steel frame members were installed to mimic pilasters to stabilize the masonry wall and provide secondary support to the two concrete roof beams within the West Building. Oates provided construction administration to monitor the progress of repairs and assist with any unforeseen conditions.