Examining Intense Fire Damage Gets A Second Look at Tech Conference

Laura Rice spends time observing damage to the wall

Every year, Degenkolb hosts their annual Technical Conference in San Francisco, California as part of the company commitment to life-long learning. Engineers are given the opportunity to present educational topics of their choice; new up and coming technology, lessons learned from a past project, maybe a technique that saved their client time and money.

Devon Lumbard and Laura Rice presented on their work at a parking garage in Oakland, California that was damaged from a fire at an adjacent residential property that was under construction. The fire, occurring on July 7th, 2017, was so hot it caused large portions of the exterior walls to spall and fall off the parking garage.

The team was brought in to perform visual observations and later, conducted a more detailed investigation and load testing of slabs. Laura says she “spent days (literally) on the scaffolding on the wall looking over every inch of it,” using the sounding hammer, and observing the removal process to make sure that all the damage was removed, both surface level and any underlying issues that could cause future damage.

Through their presentation, Devon and Laura discussed the difficulty in identifying the extents of damage and implementation of repairs that are required to returning the fire damaged wall to its pre damaged state. In the future, Non-Destructive Testing tools are additional options for identifying damage as well when assessing fire damaged concrete.

For more information on this project, contact Devon Lumbard at dlumbard@degenkolb.com or  510.250.1260.

Devon Lumbard observes the fire damaged wall