As part of an ongoing façade maintenance program Walker Consultants performed a periodic condition assessment of the exterior travertine stone cladding of The Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas. The theater was built circa 1966 and has an exterior wall system comprised of travertine stone panels connected to several different types of back-up wall systems. The upper band of spandrel stones near the roof of the building is supported by a steel channel back-up wall system on long-span steel trusses. The perimeter columns are steel truss columns encased in cast-in-place concrete with travertine stones connected directly to them with helical and chemical anchors. The exterior wall of the building also has curved inset walls constructed of travertine clad concrete masonry unit walls. The building has 28 perimeter columns and 28 spandrel bays all clad with travertine stone panels. The lower portion of the building features curved inset walls constructed of concrete masonry units with travertine cladding.
The objectives of Walker’s services were to evaluate the condition of the travertine stone cladding along spandrels, columns, and portions of the inset wall elements, document distress conditions observed, and develop conceptual repair recommendations to address the noted distress conditions. Further, this investigation allowed Walker to provide recommendations for future maintenance plans related to the stone cladding. To conduct this survey Walker used a combination of access equipment including aerial lifts and Unmanned Aerial Systems equipped with ultra-high definition cameras.