By Scott A. O’Connor / Published April 2018
The 1200 Club Condominium was originally constructed in 1956 on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. The iconic structure sits approximately 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean. Having been exposed to the ocean’s sea salt spray, compounded by weather elements, for more than half a century, most of the original components such as the concrete balustrades on exposed balconies, windows, doors, and roof systems were severely corroded and well beyond their expected life and in need of replacement. The roof system had failed, and significant water intrusion was penetrating the building envelope. If repairs had not been expedited, catastrophic failure of the railing systems would be imminent.
TRC was contacted by the association management team. Initially, a prior restoration company was working on the project, which had stopped abruptly in the middle of the active storm season. At that point, most of the residents’ glass windows and sliding doors on the east face of the building had been removed. Occupants were behind wooden weather walls, and many of them were leaking profusely. We were initially asked to provide a temporary
solution to stop the leaks in the short term; then we were asked to assess the condition of the building, prepare a scope of work to bring it up to current code, and finally to make the building safe to operate for the long term.
Due to the high cost of matching the original concrete balustrades and the desire to provide the building with a more contemporary look, glass and aluminum railing systems were selected. Architectural features from the original structure were introduced. Exterior louvers were placed over unit A/C boxes and provided an updated louver box design. The modification incorporated a cleaner, more modern look to the exterior. Rather than put tile over the unit and access balconies, new traffic-bearing waterproof membrane was applied on all the horizontal walking surfaces. This gave the building a modern look as well as provided a level of protection for the exposed concrete.
An important lesson to be learned from this community and its dilemma is to be proactive rather than reactive. It is vital to have a qualified, licensed engineer pre-selected in advance of the crisis.
Executive Vice President of TRC Worldwide Engineering Restoration