Track 3: For Power or For Passage: Re-envisioning Historic Industrial and Transportation Infrastructure
1 - On the Waterfront: The Structural Rehabilitation and Preservation of Brooklyn’s Industrial Coastline
Monday, September 24
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
In the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the long coast of Brooklyn was full of colossal warehouses and factories. Over time, these massive and robust coastal structures became abandoned and derelict. They were too large and expensive to demolish or repair and they barricaded neighborhoods from the riverfront. But, as the real estate climate changed over time, property value increased and developers began to evaluate these buildings within a new context. Several post-industrial waterfront structures have been successfully converted into residential or commercial spaces. Silman has been involved in many of these endeavors and have discovered consistent patterns and themes throughout.
A key element to the success of such a renovation is a clear understanding of the owner’s long term intentions so that a feasibility study and existing conditions assessment can be tailored to meet that end goal.
These buildings are often constructed with historical materials, heavy timber, brick or stone masonry, or reinforced concrete. Silman will discuss the arsenal of tools that have been utilized during the feasibility and assessment of many industrial buildings including: visual surveying, the development of repair details, monitoring, and materials and corrosion testing and how these have informed the owner in determining the cost and risk associated with the adaptive reuse of an industrial building.
Often, due to the high design live loads associated with manufacturing and storage, these buildings have substantial load carrying capacity when compared to commercial or residential occupancy. Load take downs and analytical techniques have been implemented to help capture back some of that excess capacity and evaluate whether additional stories can be added to the existing building without reinforcing the existing structure below.
The insertion of egress stair towers and elevator cores for circulation and code compliance as well as the removal of the load bearing walls or columns to open up the structure to light and air are also common components in these renovations.
Based on past project experience, including the Wythe Hotel, 160 Imlay Street, and Empire Stores, Silman will discuss lessons learned, rules of thumb, what to anticipate and how best to navigate through the renovation of a post-industrial building from feasibility to occupancy.
- Understand the components that contribute to a successful feasibility study and existing conditions assessment including the testing, surveying, analysis, and resuse/repurposing of historic building materials.
- Be more aware of the inherent risks and implications associated major structural interventions commonplace for the adaptive reuse of an industrial building.
- Understand how corrosion analysis and testing can inform a durability study for extending the service life of an existing structure.
- Understand monitoring of existing structures and how to design the right repair details for existing deteriorated conditions.