Updates from GNCB

Wethersfield High School Completes Renovation

  • By GNCB
  • 13 Mar, 2017

Wethersfield, CT

GNCB recently completed geotechnical engineering services for the Town of Wethersfield’s renovation of its high school. The $83.7 million project consisted of 250,000 sq. ft. of renovated space, including a complete overhaul of the auditorium, new classrooms and multipurpose spaces, and 24,000 sq. ft. of three new buildings for a new gymnasium, media center, music rooms, and an exterior elevator. Site construction improved bus and vehicle traffic flow, expanded parking space, and upgraded athletic field bleacher areas. Staging of the five-year project, from design to fall 2016 opening, reduced downtime of on-going school activities.

The team, led by Connecticut architect Quisenberry Arcari of Farmington and construction manager O&G Industries of Torrington, interacted as one throughout the project, due to its total commitment to project efficiency and economic deign. GNCB services included a subsurface exploration program, foundation design studies, preparation of specifications, and on-site monitoring services during construction. Twelve test borings helped to define the dense glacial till subsurface soils and shallow bedrock. While the conditions were quite satisfactory to support shallow spread footing foundations, the somewhat high groundwater and dense soil conditions required both temporary and permanent drainage control to permit work to proceed in the dry and with minimal hydrostatic concerns; pavement foundation drains were required. Much of the existing pavement was deemed suitable for reclamation which was both an economical and environmental plus for the project.

Within the past few years, GNCB geotechnical group has participated in over eight public school renovation projects in Connecticut.

Preliminary excavations for reinforced concrete foundations.
Excavations in stiff glacial till, adjacent to the existing foundation, for new concrete foundations and seismically-isolated steel framing.
Bearing surfaces prepared by excavating to required elevation and compacting the natural soils with hand-guided vibratory equipment.
Concrete foundations backfilled with structural fill.
Project-specific challenges included installation of new foundations within the existing building and discovery of existing sub-grade structures during construction.
By GNCB 17 Nov, 2017

GNCB attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sayebrooke Village Elderly Housing Expansion project this month. The project broke ground earlier this year and now contributes an additional 15 units to the highly popular complex on Sheffield Street.

The buildings are a mixture of single- and two-story wood-framed structures on concrete slabs-on-grade. GNCB provide structural engineering and geotechnical engineering services for the project. The expansion was a Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)-funded project.

Architect: Wiles + Architects

Contractor: Haynes Construction

By GNCB 14 Nov, 2017

Ms. Zoe Laird of Ohio has been hired as a Design Engineer at GNCB. Ms. Laird graduated from the University of New Haven (UNH) this May with a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering.

As a student, Ms. Laird was an active member of UNH’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Concrete Canoe team, and was a member of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).  

Ms. Laird’s senior design project was to design a four-story steel-framed boutique hotel with an underground reinforced concrete parking garage for UNH’s Hospitality and Tourism department. She performed much of the structural analysis and structural design for the building, and performed hand calculations to verify the computer model.

Past work experience includes an internship with the Ashtabula County Engineer’s Office in Jefferson, OH; tutoring entry-level engineering courses at UNH; acting as counselor for Camp GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science) at Ohio Northern University; and several summers at YMCA Camp Fitch holding various positions including Tech Focus Counselor.

By GNCB 30 Oct, 2017

Amy Jagaczewski , GNCB Engineer, attended this year’s Association for Preservation Technology International (APTi) Conference in Ottawa, Canada . This year’s conference, themed CAPITALizing on Heritage, was a joint conference between APTi and The National Trust of Canada in honor of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Approximately 1100 delegates from over 20 countries attended, including engineers, architects, preservationists, owners, historians, students, craftspeople, and technicians.

The APTi Conference offered professional development opportunities sorted into seven tracks depending on attendees’ backgrounds and interests. Ms. Jagaczewski attended presentations on the investigation, analysis, planning, and design of heritage structures as well as case studies on successful implementation of structural and preservation engineering principles. Topics directly corresponding with current GNCB work included reversibility of retrofits for exposed structural framing, management and assessment of historic coastal structures, and practices for analyzing unreinforced masonry buildings in moderate seismic zones.

By GNCB 18 Oct, 2017

The Northampton Community Arts Trust began occupying their newly renovated building at 33 Hawley Street in Northampton, MA this fall. The prefabricated metal building was originally built in the late 1980s and required structural upgrades to support the new use and energy-efficient design. The 25,000 square foot building will be used by the Trust to support education, rehearsals, and performances for varying forms of art.

GNCB provided structural engineering and geotechnical engineering services for this project during the initial investigation, design phases, and construction phases. Structural work included supporting new design features as well as addressing deficiencies in the existing gravity and lateral framing systems for modern loads. Geotechnical investigations included interior soil excavations to confirm the layout of existing foundations and subsurface characteristics for the installation of a new elevator pit.

Improvements to the roof framing involved the addition of 50-foot long steel trusses supported on new steel columns at the centerline of the building. The new steel off-loads the original steel bent frames to meet modern building loads and allow the installation of solar panels and a future suspended catwalk system for the black box theater. Steel x-braces were installed between the new and existing perimeter building columns to improve the building’s lateral system. GNCB also provided structural designs for the monumental stair and mezzanine and the new front entrance vestibule.

Architect: Thomas Douglas Architects

Contractor: D.A Sulivan & Sons, Inc.

Steel Fabricator and Erector: Dublin Steel Corporation

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