BFI | Building Forensics International
BFI - Building Forensics International -
BFI - Building Forensics International -
BFI - Building Forensics International -
BFI - Concrete Expert Witness - Geoffrey
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Ph: 714-637-7400                        1040 East Howell Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92805          "In the heart of the Platinum Triangle"

BFI Investigation of Cracking Post Tensioned Concrete Parking Structure


The following are excerpts from a BFI Building Forensics International investigation report of a concrete post tensioned parking structure.


The focus of the investigation had to do with the presence of cracking in elevated post tensioned slabs, this report can be divided into three parts, including: (1) Cracking of elevated slabs and shear walls; (2) Loading of the elevated slabs with stored and moving materials; and, (3) Conditions of the work like the presence of
moisture and its consequence, including various kinds of stains and coatings.


For each elevated level, field notes for the deck were divided into the North and
South portions, generally observing each deck’s cold joints as the dividing line for
making records of features examined.  After the observations made on the way to the
Amenity Deck, BFI elected to count the number of cracks, measure cracks widths,
report the widest of them on a deck to deck (half-deck) basis, and note whether there
was evidence of prior repair.


While on the lowest three or four levels, there was a significant amount of
construction activity in process.  This included completion of the parking structure with
ongoing installation of painting, fire sprinklers signage, lighting, ventilation, electrical
power and controls, and plumbing to name a few.  Thus there was quite a bit of traffic
associated with these activities. Additionally, there was traffic and moving loads
associated with delivering materials from the street to within the structure for use in the
adjoining residential structure.  When the first tour was complete to the Amenity Deck,
many areas were noted where stored construction materials, tools and equipment were
present, often enclosed within a lockable cage or fence.


All diagonal cracking was parallel and trended upwards from south to north, but
had a consistent change of direction to horizontal as they approached the end of the
wall.  Described differently, when viewed from the parking deck, the cracks were
oriented from bottom right to the upper left, becoming horizontal nearer the left end of
the wall.  Where these cracks were observed, the cracks could be observed from both
the parking side of the shear wall and the stairwell side as enclosed by it.  Measurement
of crack width was not attempted as there was conspicuous evidence of several passes
of sacking and patching which would render such measurements of doubtful benefit.


recurring diagonal pattern present intermittently from the base of the structure to
the top.  The determination of the need for any epoxy repair to this wall should be made
by others consulted for that purpose.  Alternatively, should you authorize BFI to
consider it more fully, BFI would be pleased to do so.
Evidence of sacking and patching is also present to conceal blemishes and
cracks, and reestablish drainage gradients in many areas of the structure, and in the
opinion of the undersigned, more sacking and patching may remain to be done if
required by the Owner or its representative.


ted slabs is more than typical for the most heavily used lower decks and typical to
trivial for those that are used less and which have experienced less loading whether by
gross weight or frequency, or both.  The most heavily used and cracked decks also
display cracks which are wider than the others.


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