Figure 1. A recent picture of the Old City Hall Clock Tower as it currently stands.
One of my favorite parts of the construction process is working with a creative team of engineers. This month we have been working on the structural design of the clock tower. Although this tower has stood for 130 years, we must ensure that it is structurally sound to withstand the forces of a powerful earthquake.
The architects and engineering team love to solve these types of problems. First, they must understand the problem then outline the solution and finally test the design. After months of problem-solving, they have determined a concrete reinforcement to the internal walls of the clock tower may be the best design. Since Old City Hall is a historic landmark, the outer surface of the building cannot have any structural reinforcement nor can any internal changes be seen from the windows. I have included some of the structural renderings in the images here.
Figure 2.Schematic drawing of the Clock tower showing the concrete reinforcement proposed by engineers to strengthen the internal walls of the tower to prevent destruction from the forces of an earthquake.
Our company has restored many historic buildings and recognize that the engineers and architects are pivotal to safeguard the integrity of the structures for the next 200 years. It is hard to be patient and let them try different versions of internal designs to calculate the best outcome. We recognize these months are well worth it when the results will be seen for centuries. Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2020 and with our shops and companies opening in early 2022.