Everest Restoration Ltd. was contacted in September 1997 by the building committee at McLeod Stewarton United Church (circa 1906) to address what appeared to be a major structural fault at the south west corner of the church. Structural movement was visible not only in the exterior stone façade, but had also moved to the interior plaster finish of the building.
Our first step in the process was to bring in various structural engineers to determine the root cause of the problem. While this was occurring, the structural faults were marked, measured, and monitored over several weeks to determine whether the faults were active or static. According to a Geotechnical survey, it was determined that there was active movement of the footing due to the fact that the clay based soil was now completely devoid of any moisture, causing it to crumble.
Several large trees adjacent to the area combined with a very dry summer were determined to have been one of the causes of this condition. The first step was to stabilize the footing, which was completed in a timely manner.
With the footing now stabilized, the next order of business was to repair the structural damage to the building. In order to accomplish this, the tenants were relocated from the affected corner, the building was then shored from the basement, through the upper two floors to the open web joists supporting the roof. Everest then recorded the positioning of the stone on the façade and carefully dismantled it, with the goal of reclaiming all of the original stone. The concrete block load supporting walls were then removed.
Reinstatement of the wall system proved to be a challenge, as it was required that modern building codes be adhered to. This involved the now added placement of tons of reinforcing steel, sill blocks, Blok Loc Reinforcing system and proper structural ties between the block wall and stone façade. Exterior foam insulation and air-block treatment were also installed to meet modern energy conservation standards. (New custom built energy-efficient windows were also installed.)
Despite the fact that this project was undertaken during the winter months, and that the building remained totally functional throughout the job, the work was completed in a timely fashion, with the end result being a structurally sound, well insulated building. Disturbance to the occupants of the building was minimal, despite the fact that both the exterior and interior walls were entirely reconstructed. Truly a project to be proud of!