Haight Davis & Associates Inc. was hired by a Condominium Association in downtown Atlanta to evaluate a failing steel-framed concrete parking deck.   The 10-story parking deck began cracking almost immediately after construction was completed in 1999.  In 2003, the City of Atlanta was about to condemn the deck because the deterioration of the concrete was so severe that it created safety concerns.   The Condo Association, however, wanted the parking deck repaired, but did not have the necessary funds to replace it.  HD&A was hired to design a “temporary repair” to provide the necessary structural support and protect both people and property.

The hazards included severe deterioration of the concrete decking, the deterioration of the steel support members, as well as excessive vibration and deflection.  The concrete cracking was so severe that many areas were blocked off (Photo 1).  With time, the deterioration worsened and concrete began to punch through the steel deck pan supporting the slab (Photo 2).  Water then seeped through the cracks, causing deterioration of the steel support members and the reinforcing steel (Photos 3 & 4).  This deterioration weakened the steel members allowing for increased vibrations and deflection of the drive lane.

HD&A was given the task of “buying time” for the residents of the condominium, who had nowhere else to park in downtown Atlanta.  Thinking outside the box, engineers with HD&A designed a repair using steel roofing panels installed upside down with wood inserted into the open steel channels. The complete system was bolted through to secure the wood and efficiently encapsulate the crumbling concrete.   This system was installed on the driving lanes and effectively transferred the vehicle wheel loads to the steel framing.  In addition, the underside of the original damaged deck was reinforced to prevent the concrete from falling through (Photo 5).

The panels and wood decking were installed only in the drive lanes of the 10-story deck, providing the tenants with the only “hardwood floor” parking deck in Atlanta (Photo 6).   No reinforcement was required on the ramps or the parking spaces.   During the repair process, at least one lane of traffic remained open for the residents, and no shutdown of the parking deck was necessary.  Upon completion, monthly inspections were performed by HD&A to monitor damage.  This temporary fix was only intended for one year, but the system lasted for 2 years.  This gave the Condo Association time to save enough funds to pay for the permanent repair.

Haight Davis & Associates, Inc. was able to prevent a structure from being condemned by the city, while ensuring the structure was safe for use. HD&A prides itself on having innovated engineers working together to find the best solution for their clients.

Steel Deterioration Due to Water Infiltration

Steel Deterioration Due to Water Infiltration

Damaged Deck was Reinforced from Below

Temporary Repair Method Using Wood Members to Transfer the Load to Steel Members