For many centuries, Hindu temples have been designed and constructed with the techniques outlined in the Shipla Shastras texts. In keeping with the ancient temple design, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir structure uses unreinforced masonry construction with no structural iron or steel reinforcement. Unlike other similar Hindu temples, cracks were observed on the exterior marble beams which could affect structural integrity of the porticos. Walker was retained to investigate the cause of the cracks and to determine if the cracks affected the structural integrity of the beams. Walker utilized both non-destructive and destructive investigation techniques to assess the integrity of the beams.
The salt storage dome was constructed in 1900 using reinforced shotcrete applied over an inflatable form. The dome measured 158 feet in diameter and 60 feet in height and was designed to hold 27,000 tons of salt. After 100 years of service, the dome experienced localized shell failure. Walker was retained to perform a peer review of repairs proposed by others for technical merit, cost efficiency and feasibility. Walker coordinated material and load testing to verify effectiveness of the repair approach for the City.
The World War I memorial “Peace Triumphant” is a bronze and stone statue honoring the forces on the land, sea and air. The statue is supported on granite blocks with stone steps forming an approach. Differential movement observed in the granite blocks and the stone steps led to concerns regarding the structural integrity of the monument supports. Walker conducted an investigation of the support conditions which determined that the stone steps, granite panels and central monument were all supported independently and concluded that the central monument was adequately supported and structurally sound. Walker recommended resetting the granite panels and stone steps, and sealing the joints to prevent water infiltration to extend the life of the structure.
During inspection of the hospital façades, Walker noted severe deterioration of the upper portion of the masonry chimney structure. Close-up examination revealed significant deterioration of masonry and shifting of the upper portion of the structure resulting in instability of a portion of the structure due to the deterioration. Discussions with the hospital facilities staff revealed a change in use of the chimney due to a changeover in the campus heating system. As a result, it was determined the chimney height could be reduced, allowing removal of the primary area of severe deterioration and shifted masonry. New caps were installed and isolated repairs of the balance of the structure were performed eliminating safety concerns and extending the service life of the structure.
The entry canopy at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago is a steel framed structure with laminated glass panels forming the canopy at the hospital entrance. Walker was retained after numerous glass lites exhibited cracks for unknown reasons. Walker’s investigation revealed the glass panes were cracking due to impact damages from aggregate falling off the balcony features over the main entry. While the aggregate was small the impact damage resulted in the formation of cracks in the glass lites.