In the summer of 2017, we completed extensive interior and exterior work on First National Bank’s Federal Street building across from PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The scope of work on the 24,000 SF, 1960’s era building consisted of a façade and roof replacement, mechanical system upgrades and interior renovations. The visual appeal of the exterior of the building was enhanced by a new brick and precast concrete façade, new windows and the addition of a porte-cochere along the Federal Street entrance. The interior of the building incorporates First National Bank’s modern banking branch concept, which has a more open and modern layout with technology enhancements that foster a consultative experience.
During construction, our team and subcontractors overcame numerous obstacles and site challenges. To keep the branch office operational, at the request of the client, we had to create a temporary retail area within the first-floor space while working on the new branch. As is often the case in urban sites, laydown area was extremely limited, resulting in the need for just-in-time deliveries for structural steel, masonry and other major materials. Our work plan also had to account for game day road closures, which required detailed planning of equipment and material movement. This made regular communication and collaboration between parties even more vital.
Upon investigating façade demolition options, it was determined that existing connection details required the unexpected use of a crane to remove the old façade in sections. Our team had to quickly re-sequence the work to accommodate the crane. Due to the congested nature of the area during the week and on game days, the crane could only be used on weekends when the Pirates were out of town. Night and weekend work was done to try to stay on schedule.
The potential presence of asbestos was a concern going into the project. As it turned out, much of the fireproofing and flooring in the bank building contained asbestos which needed to be carefully abated. A phased abatement plan was developed to ensure the safety of workers, bank employees and the public while meeting the client’s operational requirements. Indoor air quality was monitored regularly to guarantee the safety of all those working on or exposed to the project.
Safety was especially important on this job because of the concerns for non-construction personnel accessing the bank during construction. Our team was very conscious of their surroundings with safety being a major concern at all times. We implemented numerous safety trainings, produced multiple safety documents and took preventative measures to guarantee the safety of those involved and accessing the site.
Although challenging, adaptive reuse projects are extremely rewarding. The process gives new life to old buildings while enhancing neighborhoods. We couldn’t be happier with the project results.