When building owner and architect, Zsolt Vamosi, approached JZ Companies about creating a new medical office space in his existing building, we knew there would be challenges. The space was leased to Orthodontist, Dr. Terry Gruelle, DMD, MS. The first and largest challenge became apparent when the design for his new reception area required the elimination of a load-bearing wall. The wall was holding a load of 3� tons per linear foot. Yes,tons.
Some construction companies would strongly discourage their removal, others would install a very heavy, very expensive steel I beam to carry the load.
We wanted to give our client and his tenant EXACTLY what they wanted while controlling costs - one seamless, clean and beautiful waiting room from what was originally two small rooms separated by a hallway. It took time and careful analysis, but we finally devised the perfect solution: two very capable, but much less expensive steel C channel beams. Genius.
The overall weight was much more manageable than the alternative steel I beams, but at close to 300-lbs each, it still presented a degree of difficulty. It took a total of four days work and a lot of muscle (yes, we've got great subcontractors for that), not to mention a good deal of finesse and expertise. It was a kind of surgery, but with bigger tools. For four days, the JZ team operated with calm confidence while 3� tons balanced above their heads. No pressure.
The challenge at this point was getting the two C channels into place without creating any deflection (movement) in the structure on the second floor and roof. Our subcontractor lifted the channels into place, bolted them together through the wall, welded the steel C channels to the three columns (one on each end and one in the middle) and removed the block under the channel to open the space.
"We have a great team of hard working, talented people. That's what sets our company apart and makes projects like this possible," said project manager, Angela Peterson.
The removal of this wall was just the first step of a much larger project creating a suite of offices for Dr. Gruelle's orthodontic practice. The end result is a beautiful, spacious, structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing office space and one happy client with a few extra dollars in his pocket. Not bad for a day (or four) at the office.