PWI, Inc. (PWI), a leading supplier of petroleum and natural gas dispensing and management systems, needed additional space for executive and field staff at their existing office. The New Oxford, PA location is tucked between railroad tracks and US Route 30, and has suffered with water damage due to run-off and flooding problems. Keystruct Construction was contracted to build a new office addition, add a new entrance directly to the field office space, and provide solutions for the water issues that have plagued the existing building for years.
Because of the topography of the land, water from the upper area of the property would stream against the side of the existing building, and enter the interior spaces. Over the years PWI had taken steps to combat this issue, including digging trenches and constructing swales to divert the water flow. None of these efforts were completely effective however, so Keystruct devised multiple solutions to keep the new addition dry.
First, Keystruct removed all the trenches and swales that were on the property. An area around the footers was dug out, and pitch was applied to seal the concrete. Then a wicking-fabric moisture barrier was installed around the footers to pull water down, away from the concrete. A stone and pipe drainage system was installed around the foundation, to carry water away from the building, with the building’s downspouts attached to that system. Finally, Dryvit was installed below grade on the block and sealed with pitch. The area was then filled and regraded to divert water away from the building.
Following all these efforts, Keystruct drilled test holes in the concrete to check for moisture infiltration. Using hoses to simulate rain and run-off, water was sprayed in the upper area of the property and around the new foundation. No moisture was found in the test holes during several tests, so it was determined that the multiple moisture barrier solutions and the new grading will keep the addition dry.
Another area of the project site where stormwater run-off was a concern was the new field office entrance. Because the interior floor was 13 inches below grade, a solution was needed to keep water from running into the interior office space. Instead of using an exterior ramp system, which would have allowed water to flow into the entrance from the higher grades on the site, Keystruct installed a concrete pad with a drain, and two interior steps to the lower floor inside. By using the slightly elevated concrete pad as a deterrent to the water flow, this solution eliminated the need to add a swale or additional exterior grading to divert the water.
Inside the completed space are an executive office with custom features to display the owner’s personal artwork and memorabilia, as well as an area for client meetings or brainstorming sessions with the staff. The new field offices provide space focused on the specific needs of the field staff, giving them a feeling of ownership, and allowing them to move freely through their new, dedicated entrance.
The finished addition successfully met all of the owner’s goals. The executive and field staff have functional space to work productively. A new entrance allows the field staff to access their office spaces, without disrupting work in other areas. New moisture barriers and grading effectively keep the new space dry. The updated exterior and roof create a cohesive look for the entire building. According to J. Benjamin Hieber, Vice President for the organization, the new expansion afforded them room to grow, and provided a functional and impressive facility for their customers and vendors.