Originally constructed in 1984, the headquarters for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia is a steel-framed structure supported by spread footings that provides office space for various public divisions, such as Utilities and Administration.
In 2015, the Public Service Commission issued a Request for Proposals for a Design-Build renovation of the building’s façade, indicating the possibility of replacing the structure’s brick exterior. WDP partnered with one of the largest restoration contractors in the US and sub-contracted with Glave & Holmes Architecture to provide architecture support.
The Design-Build team proposed replacing brick with brick due to its longevity, aesthetic compatibility with neighboring buildings, and overall value. The use of brick provided a significant cost savings over the use of terra cotta rain screen. Additionally, the thermal performance of the wall assembly could be improved with the addition of exterior cavity insulation and continuous air and water barrier. The new design called for the addition of improved glazing and eye-catching metal work logos of the Public Service Commission for the exterior.
The demolition and construction process began in March 2016, with the requirement of maintaining building occupancy throughout the entirety of the project. WDP conducted an initial field investigation prior to developing the design documents for the project. The field investigation provided the opportunity to uncover some of the existing conditions, so the design details could be developed based on actual construction. In doing so, the Design-Build team was able to identify unforeseen conditions and value engineer the proposed design in order to modify the anticipated scope of work and stay within the project budget, while still meeting the overall project goals.
The design involved a complete removal of the building’s exterior, which required design and installation of temporary enclosures to protect interior finishes and building occupants. The building envelope was replaced on a phased demolition and construction plan to ensure minimal disruption to the building occupants. Once temporary interior protection was in place, building occupants were able to continue to work in office spaces sharing a wall with the exterior building envelope, even when replacing punched windows within those spaces. Continuous coordination with building occupants was critical to work through the execution of work in each individual office space throughout the building.
The repair design included a new continuous air/water barrier, added exterior continuous thermal insulation, new brick, new punched windows, and new glazing within the existing curtain wall framing. A “self-tinting” glazing was selected to replace the glazing in the curtain wall systems to offer shading relief for building occupants when under direct sunlight. WDP also designed a new structural framing system that was integrated into an existing structural element to provide the framework for a new monumental limestone arch feature at the front of the building. This feature was a nod to the original architectural brick arch at this elevation, while providing a more visually appealing structure that was better suited for the scale of the building.
Based on the relationship that WDP built with the PSC during this project, we were selected to perform a structural condition assessment and repair of the attached PSC Parking Garage.
During demolition, unforeseen conditions were identified that included unreinforced and unsupported CMU-masonry backup walls and existing metal framed walls that were not in alignment. WDP developed specific details to strengthen the existing walls and accommodate these unique existing conditions.
ServicesFaçade Investigation & Repair
Rex A. Cyphers, P.E., Principal, Chief Operating Officer
Public Service Commission of West Virginia