To Restore or Rebuild, That is the Question:
When the lifecycle curve of a structure starts taking a dramatic turn, an Owner is faced with a decision – to fix the growing problems or give up and start anew. Given the chance, our approach is to devise a comprehensive repair and restoration plan whenever possible. Unless the cost for mitigating the problems and continual maintenance outweighs constructing a complete new structure, the best and most ecological option is to give the existing structure a longer lifespan by repairing and continuing to use it. In this approach, restoration by its nature can be considered as sustainable actions. Our expertise lies in not only looking at the structure holistically, but also how the discreet components of the structure impact the long term durability and serviceability.
Walker has set the standard for sustainable restoration through the use of our Asset Management Program. Properly designed repairs that are implemented in a timely manner, will minimize future maintenance expenses and material replacement. In addition, Walker has adopted environmentally friendly products in our material specifications. For example, we now routinely specify single component products with little to no volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are known to be harmful to our environments. This results in significantly less toxin exposure to workers and patrons of the structure during construction or repairs.
In addition to sustainable and durable repairs, many of our restoration projects have included energy conserving lighting upgrades, architectural and accessibility enhancements, and access control improvements that reduce pollution from queued vehicles. Our “cradle to cradle” thinking that is incorporated with our proactive restoration practices allows us to seamlessly meet and often exceeding LEED, USEPA, and other sustainable standards.
Although aging structures may be giving you a headache, keeping good use of existing structures relieves the carbon footprint on the earth. We are here to help you weigh the pros and cons in deciding what is best for your parking structure and building assets. Contact our knowledgeable consultants such as Nam Shiu or Dan Moser for further guidance.
“There is nothing more environmentally responsible or that has a lower carbon footprint than simply restoring existing structures rather than demolishing them and building new ones.”
– Dan Moser, Principal, Walker Restoration Consultants
T3 Tower at Third in Champaign, IL is a perfect example of a client who needed an assessment to determine the useful life of its structure built in the 1970s. We presented them with findings and came up with a practical repair and extended lifespan program, compared to building an entirely new structure. In the end they decided to take our advice to renovate and it paid off! While repairs were approximately $4 million, the useful life of the deck was extended at least 20 years as compared to $10+ million with a useful life of 40.