Expansion Joints and Pre-Compressed Sealants
SGH-Designed Deck Features
"Shear" Innovation (New Construction, 1999)
(Note: click on images for a larger view)
Renowned for their rigorous forensics, conservative
engineering and particularly thorough renovations, Simpson Gumpertz Heger (SGH) are widely
considered tops in the engineering consulting field.
It is no wonder
then, that when commissioned to design a parking deck from scratch, they employ a design
philosophy that will ensure a lifetime of performance from the structure.
The cornerstones of this philosophy are conservative design and application of
durable and proven materials. It is no surprise then, that THERMAFLEX by EMSEAL
is found to be the expansion joint system of choice for Zurich Insurance's new parking
One need look no further than the facade of the
structure for evidence of SGH's design approach. In order to match the look of the
building and because of its location in a residential area of Baltimore City, the owner
wanted the garage clad in the neighborliness of brick.
Usually reserved for the walls of office,
residential, and other high-end, human-occupied structures, flashed and drained
cavity wall construction allows moisture collected in the wall system a proper way out.
This ensures that the cladding materials remain unharmed by moisture and
Stainless steel through-wall flashing and
stainless-gauze-protected weep holes through the brick facade ensure that the wall panels
will drain properly.
When it comes to expansion joints, SGH's expectations are no less
demanding. Designed to permit a full range of unrestricted movement, the slabs of
the structure are supported at both ends by heavy split columns. In order to
maximize space utilization, the slabs wrap around the columns. This means that the
expansion joints turn perpendicular to the normal movement of the slab and induce a shear
component relative to the rigid column.
The design challenge was to make
the joint watertight throughout the jog around the column while ensuring that the
materials used would, without undue stress, handle the shear movement.
Meeting this challenge required EMSEAL's shear-pocket
technology. This concept centers around the introduction of a factory-welded
Santoprene sheet into one of EMSEAL's THERMAFLEX sealing glands. The sheet runs
through the area of shear and is attached to the column with termination bar.
Each transition for the
project was factory-fabricated to field-measured dimensions
provided by the installing contractor. Each column was
unique and each was installed and fitted without need for field-modification.
EMSEAL's approach to parking deck expansion joint sealing centers around the
belief that through better design, better products, and better installation we can provide
owners with trouble-free expansion joint systems. The Zurich Insurance parking
garage is evidence that this approach yields results.