The 180 Grand Office Tower and Garage experienced significant fire and heat exposure when the adjacent 5-story construction project burned in massive four-alarm blaze. Window glazing on the office tower began shattering from the heat, sending debris to the street below. The walls of the garage discolored and began spalling from the temperature changes. The tower and garage were subsequently closed by the City of Oakland pending forensic evaluations and remedial measures. Degenkolb was mobilized on the project within hours of the fire, beginning with rapid visual screening and extending through detailed structural investigation. Degenkolb provided expert consulting and design services in close collaboration with a complex project team, including the owner, management, insurance, consultants, contractors and the adjacent project team. Degenkolb expedited structural validation testing of the garage floors to restore full occupancy within 4 weeks of the fire, allowing for renewal of monthly parking. We subsequently addressed a systematic investigation of the heat-affected areas of concrete and developed repair documents for implementation. Throughout the project, Degenkolb interfaced directly with the insurance experts to coordinate the scope of work and maintain alignment with insurance coverage. While initial impressions were that the garage may be a structural loss, both the garage and office tower were returned to full service with minimal repairs to affected areas. While no one welcomes this type of occurrence, the close collaboration and effective teamwork on this project resulted in a successful outcome for all parties.
The scope of Degenkolb services on 180 Grand is illustrative of our claims management capabilities, where the delivery of engineering and team leadership is closely aligned with the needs of insurance coverage. In any organization, a large loss can be a devastating occurrence that strains financial and personnel resources. Combined with myriad stakeholders and complex technical issues, it can create a very difficult management environment. By leveraging Degenkolb’s skillset for project management, team coordination, forensic engineering, technical development, insurance justification, document production and site support, the Owner can supplement their own response with a highly skilled claims management team. The end result is a collaborative resolution, instead of a chaotic dispute.