Support Beam Safety Hazard

Support Beam Safety Hazard

The director of building maintenance at an indoor water park/hotel hired J3 Engineering Group to inspect and issue a report on the current condition of a wood framed stair tower that was scheduled for some minor repairs. After careful inspection, J3 concluded that more than minor repairs were needed, and a critical member of the structure was unsafe.

J3 worked with the director of building maintenance to perform our inspection of the tower during non-operating hours of the water park. It was discovered that a major support beam was rotting and had delaminated due to horizontal shear cracks caused by constant exposure to moisture. In addition, steel connection plates and bolts were corroding from high concentrations of chlorinated water.

The safest option for water park guests and staff was to shut down the stair tower and water slide attraction, which contained four different slides. Within days, J3 established a temporary field fix to reinforce the failing support beam. After review by the contractor, the fix was fabricated and installed, and the slide tower opened the following week. Our final inspection report was issued, which provided the water park with repair recommendations for the entire stair tower structure.

A long term solution was needed for the stair tower re-design, which  J3 also assisted with. We engineered a new tower out of pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP). This material resists the elements that cause rot and decay as well as resisting corrosion, insects, mold and mildew.

The water slide attraction has since re-opened and safe for guests to use.

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