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Berkley School of Music

Project Role
Location
150 Mass Ave,
Boston,
MA
Project size

Year completed
Roof System
Contract value

Description

This project included structural improvements to the roof deck repair of masonry façade and installation of new roof.

Overview

The Berklee School of Music building was built at the turn of the 20th century. At the time building codes were primitive compared to today’s standards. Over time the building fell into disrepair and a major overhaul was required. The building showed signs of structural defects by large cracks in the brick façade and deterioration around the window head areas.

Problem

A structural survey revealed defects in the connection between the façade and the roof deck. Reliable Roofing & Sheet Metal was chosen to implement structural improvements to return the building to an acceptable condition.

Cause

The structural issues emanated from an inadequate connection between the roof deck and the brick facade. This allowed the brick façade too separate from the roof deck and lean towards the street below. The movement in the brick resulted in widespread cracks and spaling throughout the structure.

Structural improvements

The design solution proposed a new steel roof deck with restraint to the façade walls and a series of structural improvements to the roof supporting structure. To do this the old timber deck had to be completely removed. While the old roof system had to be completely removed, the building had to remain watertight. It was decided to build a temporary cover roof over the entire building to allow for the old roof removal. A restraint mechanism was also required to prevent the façade walls from further movement. To achieve this, a series of tension cables were installed and tightened. The old deck was removed, the structural improvements made to the supporting structure and the new steel deck installed.

The new roofing system was completed while still covered by the temporary roof. On completion the temporary cover was removed and a continuous parapet wall constructed of reinforced concrete. This provided additional restraint to the façade walls and allow for the tension cables to be removed.

Masonry

The building movements had caused severe damage to the brick masonry many of the window arches were totally deteriorated. Up to 60 window arches had to be totally rebuilt. The masonry removed any damaged and loose brick, chiseled out the loose mortar and began rebuilding the brick arches. Each brick required tapered cuts to achieve the arch while maintaining a uniform joint width.