The post-earthquake recovery of the 160-year-old Sherman Building is a model for transforming devastation into an opportunity for preservation, innovation, and stewardship.
Using pioneering techniques and state-of-the-art technologies to quickly mobilize and survey the damage, the collaborative design–build team was able to assess conditions and formulate strategies for the rehabilitation design and execution. Through a fast-track delivery, the heavily damaged tower was partially disassembled and reconstructed with new steel reinforcement sensitively integrated and concealed into the historic fabric. Today, this iconic structure has been brought back to life and beautifully preserved.
Innovative Preservation Process
Work on the Sherman Building required ingenuity to assess the full extent of earthquake damage and quickly rehabilitate the building. The team worked closely to develop design and construction methods progressively as conditions were revealed through survey. This fluid approach required commitment to creativity, communication and collaboration from each member of the design-build team – from consultants to contractors. QEA used a number of custom graphic tools for the accelerated reconstruction. This included a comprehensive 3-D laser scanning to provide base documentation of the post-earthquake conditions. The “point cloud” was also used to evaluate out-of-plane wall movement and inform the repair. The use of tablets allowed the design team to complete a comprehensive conditions assessment of the masonry and inventory. This documentation was used to transpose elevations into masonry course maps and track stones to their staging locations, enabling the reconstruction to begin the day after deconstruction ended and resulting in the accurate construction of over 3,000 stones.
© Dustin Johnson