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The landmark Wells Fargo Place is a St. Paul skyscraper formerly called The Minnesota World Trade Center. It is a concrete and steel structure, with a facade of brown-colored granite and glass. The granite is unique and comes from Finland. The 37-story tower is currently the tallest building in St.Paul.
Constructed during the late-1980s, the office tower experienced problems associated with chronic water leakage, sealant deterioration, and localized failures of the granite cladding. At the base of the tower, the associated low-rise shopping mall clad with hand-set granite was also experiencing issues, including loosening of overhead stone soffit panels. The curtain wall for the building consists of glass and aluminum with spandrels of thin stone granite. The building enclosure was specified and designed to function utilizing the principles of pressure equalization.
RRJ was retained by the owner to determine the cause of the water intrusion and other nonperformance issues. RRJ performed a condition survey of the interior and exterior, diagnostic water testing, a document review and material testing, along with preparation of a report of findings and recommendations with remedial options and budgetary cost estimates.
RRJ’s granite cladding investigation identified various deficiencies and concerns, including the adequacy of attachment of selective stone panels, appropriateness of the filler materials and adhesives used, serviceability of repair materials used during fabrication and erection, and the existence of large natural cracks in select panels. Issues related to public safety were identified and addressed on a temporary basis with no disruption on the use of the facilities.