It can be a challenge to repair an earthquake-damaged structure.
During the 7.1-magnitude 2018 Anchorage earthquake, Gruening Middle School in Eagle River sustained more damage than any other school in the Anchorage School District. Review of the school showed the existing masonry walls suffered damage and separation from the roof. During the retrofit design, the Reid Middleton structural engineering team (Anchorage) determined the masonry walls weren’t adequately reinforced to meet current code requirements. They were seeking an easy-to-install strengthening solution that wouldn’t add significant weight to the building.
The Simpson Strong-Tie team visited the site during the design phase. We suggested using fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM, ICC ESR-3506) for strengthening existing masonry walls. FRCM combines a high-performance sprayable mortar with a carbon-fiber grid to create a thin structural layer that won’t add significant weight or volume to the existing structure. In addition, FRCM is easy to install over fluted masonry walls.
Our team worked with Reid Middleton’s Ellen Hamel and David Stierwalt specifying FRCM to strengthen 36,000 square feet of walls. Our team also trained Generation Plastering, based in Pasco, Washington, to install the FRCM system. Kudos to their team for an excellent first few days of FRCM installation. Cornerstone General Contractors is the GC on the project. We especially want to thank the school district for being open-minded about using FRCM.
Simpson Strong-Tie Team: Alex Daddow, CSS Field Engineer; Eric Olsen, CSS Specialist; Aniket Borwankar, Development Manager.
Feel free to contact our team with questions or for assistance with your project.