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Key Tower was originally built as Society Bank Tower and was the headquarters for Cleveland- based Society Corporation. Designed by architect Cesar Pelli, it is the tallest building at 57 stories in the state of Ohio. The skyscraper’s facade is constructed of one-story prefabricated granite aluminum and glass panels attached to the concrete and steel building frame with cantilevered aluminum connection hardware. During construction in 1991, vertical deflections at the panel connections significantly exceeded the allowable movements specified by the contract documents.
The developer engaged RRJ to determine the cause of the excessive movements. RRJ’s investigation revealed a contractor modification to the aluminum panel support members was at the root of the problem. In order to accommodate concrete column tolerance problems, crucial stiffening elements had been removed, significantly reducing connection strength. Reinforced connections field load tested by RRJ were used for the remainder of construction, and all previously installed connections were retrofitted with stiffeners.