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Building Over An Existing Problem

Building Over An Existing Problem

Building Over An Existing Problem

We are the structural engineer on a new heavy construction project (7 floors of PT garage with 3 floor of residential aobve).  There is a small 150x50 single story build on one edge of the site.  The developer is unable to remove one of the tenants and therefore is asking us to design and incorporate a shelter structure around this existing building.  A couple of questions, first does anyone know if there are any provisions in the code that would require the tenants to vacate while we construct the shelter? Second any code provisions that would require them to vacate during the construction of the entire project? Lastly should we acutally have to go through with building the shelter, any recommendations for loadings, details or advise would be helpful.

Thanks is advance for any response.

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

I would look to construction insurance concerns depending on what the "shelter" entailed and the proximity of the existing structure.

Sounds like the owner/contractor needs to do some due dilligence here with his lawyer and hammer this thing out legally, as I do not think you will find your solution in the code.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

This has happened before, at Atlantic City, a casino was built around a home owner who refused to sell.

I can't find the pictures. They built a steel frame around and over Vera Coking's house, then went out of business so it stayed that way for a few years.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

I doubt there are any code provisions for protection, but I would treat it as a canopy over a sidewalk during construction...

JAE...this is in your area...where are ya?

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

It also would get into the consideration of "air rights" as the present owner would have to sell those rights to the present developer of the new building if the new structure encroaches on the other owner's property.
If the single story owner ever sold his property to someone else in the future, any vertical development would obviously be limited by the building above it, depending how much there is.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

After reading your post carefully, I have a few questions:

1.  Is the 150 x 50 building under your new construction or just beside it?  You don't directly say.

2.  Is the shelter to be constructed beside the tenant's building to avoid potential construction materials from  accidently being dislodged and perhaps damage the tenant's building?  Or is it to shelter from falling debris, tools, etc.?

3.  Is the shelter intended to be permanent or just there during construction operations?


RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

The existing building will be under the new construction. The idea was to have twin tee beams span about 60 across the building to allow for some new columns, footings around the existing.  The "shelter" would probably be made integral with the new construction and therefore would become permemnant as the rest of the job continued.  The developer owns the existing building but one of the tenants will not work with them on the lease which is ten years so air rights are not a concern in this case. Essentially the current lease holder thinks he found his golden ticket.

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

Depending on the locale and jurisdiction, you may have to reinforce the existing building in the event of snow or wind issues... or the owner would get the work done and bill the developer...


RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

I don't believe there are any building code rules that require people to not occupy a space such as that...however, I would think that OSHA would have rules that cover that.  You might check with them.

Also, there is the basic common sense that you would be taking on a great deal of liability with heavy construction going on overhead of occupied spaces.   

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

This is real engineering!

Back to first principles - how high can things fall, what is the maximum weight of the dropped item and how far will the barrier flex.

Just remember that deflection is your friend when it comes to impact resistance.

RE: Building Over An Existing Problem

air rights are a factor.

a few years ago on the gulf coast (back when economy was booming and condos were actually getting built) it was not uncommon for an owner of a small beach house to block the use of tower cranes on the condo being built next door.

one little old lady next to the project I was working on thought the counter weights would fall on her house. not that I've heard of that happening, but nothing's impossible.

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