The residents of Appletree Square Condominiums enjoy panoramic vistas of the Minnesota River valley. Over the years, residents added solariums to enclose their balconies. Unfortunately, these solariums were not properly installed, causing numerous and widespread water intrusion issues.
To restore the façade’s integrity, the solariums needed to be removed and replaced. The building’s location atop a river bluff—and next to a national wildlife refuge—made construction access difficult. The condo association faced the prospect of adding a half-million-dollar retaining wall below the building simply to enable work to begin. There was also the possibility of losing their solariums, along with the special noise-abating doors and windows residents had invested in to minimize noise from the nearby airport.
Walker Consultants worked with the association and residents to find a solution that not only made the project financially feasible, but also respected residents’ wishes. Instead of building a structure to support heavy equipment from below, Walker opted to come from above, using unique swing stages to create access from the roof. Walker’s design also retained the existing specialized doors and windows, while allowing residents to choose whether to replace their solarium or leave their balcony open.
Walker prepared construction documents and observed the restoration process. To make the design process easier, Walker created a Revit model from a drone-imaged 3D point cloud of the building.
With the restoration completed, the residents and owners of Appletree Square not only have a brand new façade to keep their homes dry, they also have the necessary drawings and documents to make future maintenance easier.