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Assembly Center houses a 10,000-spectator multipurpose arena for basketball and hockey, support facilities, television studios, and offices. Eight massive conventionally reinforced cast-in-place concrete buttresses rising 66 feet above and extending 20 feet below grade are located at the cardinal points of the 336 feet by 306 feet elliptical structure. The buttresses are U-shaped in plan and largely triangular in elevation and required multiple concrete pours to complete.
Shortly after completion, the buttresses began exhibiting cracking and spalling of the exposed form-finished surfaces. Fallen pieces of spalled concrete were routinely found on the ground, causing concern both for safety and the long-term durability of the buttresses.
RRJ was retained to investigate the causes of the buttress cracking and spalling. The investigation revealed that the contractor had undertaken massive amounts of surface patching, using both cementitious and epoxy-based materials, to correct large concrete finish irregularities resulting from poor concrete forming and placement operations. The spalling was due to patching material delamination caused by in-service deterioration of the bonding agent used at the cementitious patch areas and thermal expansion incompatibility problems at the epoxy-based patch areas.
RRJ partnered with a local architect to design repairs for the buttresses, which involved demolition of loose material and installation of a drained cavity portland cement stucco cladding system to restore the building aesthetics.
Subsequently, RRJ was retained to provide consultation and expert witness testimony during litigation against the general contractor for the cost of repairs.