Repair Roof at Historically Significant Building #1 at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center, PA

  • Contract Value: $1,119,000

    Project Completion: Jan, 2006 (Completed 4 months earlier than scheduled completion)

    Brief Project Description:

    The work involved repair and restoration of an architecturally significant roof on a historically significant building. NAVFAC is housed in historic Building 1 located at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center, the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. The building was completed in 1875 with gable peaked pavilions at both ends projecting off the main block and topped by cupolas with copper roofs that glisten in the morning sun. It is architecturally significant as a detailed example of Italianate architecture. It is historically significant as one of the original shipyard buildings. Its roof truss has engineering significance as an early example of steel composite truss with iron tie bars.

    Benaka was awarded the contract to repair the existing roof by replacement and to restore the former roofline using original materials. The work required removal of asbestos shingle and demolition of approximately 3000 SqFt of dormer and 60 lf of sky light. We had to frame the roof with new steel members and connection pieces to match the existing roof profile. We also refurbished the cupolas. The project required close coordination between our field management team and NAVFAC’s acquisition and engineering staffs. We had to make critical repairs before the onset of the winter season. Making the building water-tight was a priority. The building was occupied when construction activities were performed so schedules were modified to minimize disruption to daily activities. All of the work was completed by the first week in January, a full four and one half months ahead of schedule.

    In an article that appeared in the Jan-Mar 2006 NAVFAC Midlant News (See Below), Benaka’s management team for this project was called “exceptional”

    This was a high visibility project with no margin of error. We had to restore the original roofline using original materials. This required research which included analysis of old photographs. The roof was in a highly deteriorated state. The Navy severely compressed the schedule so that the roof would be able to withstand a winter snowfall. The project had high visibility because the NAVFAC Public Works Department was located in the building.

    We succeeded on all accounts by completing the project early and providing a refurbished roof with its beauty intact.

    Of particular note is the letter of commendation from the Navy’s Project Engineer who said “Your personnel’s ability to overcome and resolve difficulties ranging from a constant changing work schedule dictated by the client’s operations, unforeseen utilities, and difficult existing conditions is especially commendable and was truly appreciated by all parties…..The government is grateful for your effort, partnering, and commends you on a job well done.”