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Re: The More Things Change: NYT Article on Restoration of Utah State Capitol Building

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The purpose of the project was restoration and increased longevity through seismic isolation.  The incredible part of the project, to me, really was the load transfer of the four main dome columns onto the new main isolation plain using cast-in-place, post-tensioned concrete bridging beams.  My former boss and forever mentor Mason Walters with Forell/Elsesser led the charge on this effort. It was an incredible feat.
I can't speak to the maintenance issues much, but I don't believe the building was suffering at the hands of the weather as with most domes, the concrete is capped on the outside and clad on the inside - leaks aside. 
Water can be used to help stretch the volume of concrete - it just leaves concrete with a lot voids once it finally dries out, but you're right that it probably wasn't the only thing used to make up for lack of materials.
Also, Bill, it's funny you mention the quality of concrete on the job.  From what I recall of this job, the concrete mix design used was HVFA at 55% replacement.  Dense, solid, amazing quality stuff.  Sometimes contractors make some great mud...
-Ben Maxwell

Steve Gordin <sgordin(--nospam--at)> wrote:
Wait, how could have water helped?  May be, sand?
The deterioration of exposed concrete in the freeze-thaw conditions is normal, especially, over 90+ years.  And, fortunately to the skier types, it may get quite cold in Utah.
The main point of the article should have been that every structure needs proper maintenance - earthquakes or not.
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Polhemus
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 13:29
Subject: The More Things Change: NYT Article on Restoration of Utah State Capitol Building

The quality of the concrete varied ? solid at the foundation, crumbling near the top ? and that finding could mean only one thing: There had been only so much building material, and construction crews, in finishing the dome in 1916, had added more and more water to stretch out what they had.
Wow, good to know that we've come so far in our enlightened age!

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Benjamin H. Maxwell, S.E.

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