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Willa Rawls Manor Apartments is an 11-story apartment complex built in 1980, providing assisted and independent living for seniors. The building consists primarily of precast concrete construction with precast concrete walls, floor slabs, and roof slabs. Exposed aggregate precast concrete panels are located at the four corners of the long elevations and between the north and south end wall balconies. Aluminum windows and sliding glass doors are integrated into the facade.
RRJ was retained to perform a Critical Examination using the City of Chicago Ordinance for Maintenance of Exterior Walls and Enclosures guidelines. The precast wall panels, divider walls, and balcony slabs were visually examined close up for displacement, cracks, or spalls. Mechanical sounding of the wall and balcony surfaces were performed to assist in identifying concealed deficiencies. A condition survey of the remaining precast concrete balconies not surveyed in the previous facade examinations was completed, along with destructive openings performed at three locations to investigate cracks observed at isolated precast plank ends.
From the numerous investigations, RRJ recommended that all spalls and cracks at the plank end and bearing walls be repaired to reduce water intrusion and limit further distress. Other recommendations involved repairs and additional bearing at the wall panel top locations, which were spalled to a depth where the precast plank bearing area was compromised.
RRJ’s repair design consisted of modifications to the spalled areas, epoxy injection of identified crack locations, installation of supplemental steel support angles at spalled bearing locations, and replacement of sealant at distressed plank ends.