Cambridge, MA Abbot Building Restoration is nearing completion of a masonry repair and waterproofing project involving 14 interconnected four-story occupied office buildings located at 25 First St. in the Kendall Sq. section of the city. The buildings consist of solid, multi-wythe brick exterior walls with precast and granite windowsills and steel lintels.
Abbot was invited to a bidding process via its previous working relationship with Elements Management, the engineering company for the project, and was awarded the job following a comprehensive review by the bid committee.
The project was to be initiated in early 2020. However, the work was postponed due to the uncertainty about the landscape due to the onset of the coronavirus. The project was resurrected in August when construction restrictions were lifted in the city and, because the building was virtually empty with most people working from home, the management company reasoned that this would be the most opportune time to get the work done.
The scope of work primarily involved miscellaneous waterproofing and repairs of the exterior facades of the buildings, including:
• Brick replacement;
• Brick and sill repointing;
• Granite sill crack repairs;
• Selective EIFS repairs; and
• Façade and window sealant replacement.
The most challenging aspect was to erect a fully enclosed scaffolding to provide access for Abbot to cut and point a large chimney stack rising 80 feet above the roof. Due to the mass of the scaffolding, the management company hired a structural engineer (BMC Engineering, LLC, Wakefield, MA) to design a steel platform fabricated out of a series of I-beams for the scaffolding to stand on to evenly distribute the weight.