Emergency structural evaluation for fire damaged apartment building

On Saturday, April 28, Fehr Graham received a phone call from client Green Street Realty concerning an apartment building at 609 S. Randolph Street in Champaign, Illinois. The building that had caught fire the night before. We immediately called Fehr Graham owner and Structural Engineer Matt Johnson, who was in Champaign at his kid's soccer game, to meet with Green Street's maintenance employee and evaluate the structural integrity of the building.

Green Street Realty wanted us to determine if the building was structurally sound for residents to come back in, so they could retrieve personal belongings, and if the building was a total loss or if it could be repaired. Matt determined that once debris was cleaned up, the ground and second-floor lessees could enter the building safely. Third-floor residents would have to wait until trained professionals remove the roof and drywall and brace the walls before they can access their apartments.

Matt also reported that due to the extent of the water and heat damage, all utilities, gypsum board, and insulation are a total loss. If Green Street repairs the building, he recommended that following demolition of the roof structure and stabilization of the third-floor walls, the utilities, gypsum board, insulation, and corresponding materials on all floors be removed. A supplemental investigation and report of the remaining timber framing should be made to determine what may remain in a reconstructed building.

Matt wrote up the report on Monday, then we signed and sealed on Tuesday and sent to Green Street.

It's another example of how Fehr Graham builds trust with clients and adds value at every point of contact.