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Institutional Garage Beam Failure

Location

Dallas, Texas

Size

5 levels, 1,500 cars

The Datum team is well known for our forensic skills and our ability to assess and resolve difficult structural engineering challenges. We are both during and after construction to provide expert input into unique situations.

One such case occurred during the construction of a multi-story parking structure. A major post-tensioned concrete transfer girder, supporting seven levels, began to crack when only five levels had been constructed. The general contractor requested that we determine the extent of the problem and recommend repair solutions. Our team brought in a testing laboratory to locate the ducts for the tendons and found that they had floated up during the concrete pour, rendering the beams unsafe.

All four beams were surveyed and all were found to have the same problem to various degrees. To resolve the dangerous conditions, the Datum team designed and oversaw the implementation of repairs. Two beams were fiber-wrapped and shotcrete was added for fire protection and appearance. One beam was too damaged to fiber-wrap, so it was wrapped with steel channels and rods and then the post-tensioned shotcrete was added. The final beam had to have a column and deep pier added at approximately mid-span since we found no reasonable repair option.