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Masonry & Balconies

As part of our inspection of Terrace Square Condominiums, a multi-floor test area of distressed exterior face brick was removed at one building for multiple reasons. The condition of the masonry was inspected by our team and digitally photographed to record the current construction of the wall. We observed a latent construction defect that created a common source point for water infiltration through walls of this type. Masonry materials were collected for laboratory testing, confirming that the original brick was sound.

With this information, our team (including consulting engineers from The Structural Shop) developed a prototypical method to match and most efficiently repair conditions of this type in future work for the buildings. Repair work involved replacing the existing multi-wythe header brick assemblies with standard running bond face brick set onto flashed steel shelf angles.


As part of our investigation, we discovered that many resident balconies were originally designed in ways to allow water to prematurely age the precast concrete structures and steel guard rail assemblies and enter the buildings. Railings were found to violate current building code strength and picket spacing requirements.

After sounding the undersides of 270 balconies with visible distress, our team determined fifteen balconies to be imminently hazardous. These required demolition and the design of long-lasting replacement balconies to closely match the appearance of all the remaining balconies. For this, our work included:

  • An investigation to determine the source points of balcony distress.
  • The design for the replacement of deteriorated ornamental steel components and new code-compliant guard rails.
  • The design for the replacement of concrete structural and non-structural components.
  • The design of new sloped balcony topping slabs, to drain rainwater out and away from the building walls.
  • The design of a new topside balcony waterproofing system and wearing surface.
  • Construction observation services to monitor the quality of the repair work.

Download Masonry Case Study PDF
Download Balconies Case Study PDF