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The watonwan

The watonwan

The watonwan

Watonwan County Human Services Building

The watonwan

715 2nd Avenue South, St. James, MN
The 18,000 sf Human Services Building was built less than 10 years ago. In the winter of 2012/2013 the building was deflecting and leaking so bad the County moved everyone out of the building on Presidents Day - February 18, 2013. There was talk about tearing the building down! What to do?

In the summer of 2013 with limited progress made on the building, Buetow Architects recommended Doc Smith of EDS Builders to Don Kuhlman, the county auditor, to review the issues and look at the building.

EDS Builders observations: After understanding the issues and walking the building I observed many defects that were fixable. We discussed the options to fix the building for around $800,000.00 or tear down the building and build a new 3.5 million building. Fix the Building was the marching orders.

EDS Builders right away set a budget and worked with Watonwan County, Roof Spec, BKBM to get specs written up and bids out.

Known Repairs List:

  1. Roof Upgrade
  2. Remove exterior Sheetrock and insulation
  3. Add Columns
  4. Exterior wall paint
  5. Ceiling repair

During the construction additional defects appeared. With 30 years of design and construction experience, Doc was to observe these defects and come up with solutions:

  • Remove north parapet and push gutter out beyond the wall.
  • Wall flashing not installed correctly. Installing closed cell insulation should prevent water coming in the building.
  • Windows installed to fail - Solution: Cut existing aluminum frame, add sill pan, flash jambs, and reinstall window,
    foam back, and caulk.
  • Exterior Wall Insulation was installed incorrectly having cold joints causing condensation – Remove insulation
    and foam walls and beams in same plain.
  • Parapet causing condensation into the building due to improper or no insulation.
  • The front entrance areas with no insulation at all in the entrance ceiling caused condensation and staining of the
    exterior EIFS: Correction foam soffit.
  • North Parapet roof design built to fail and Gutter system built to fail – Solution: Remove parapet and insulate
    north face and extend gutter beyond wall line.
  • Counterflashing at barrel roof built to fail Solution: Install new counter facing to extend beyond EIFS.
  • Sidewalks and soils above exterior building drainage system - Regrade and replace concrete sidewall with a
    sloped walk.
  • Warping of beams – Solution: Install stiffenings to strengthen out beams.
  • Additional upgrades – Fresh Paint and new carpet help gives the Human Services Building a new feel.

Original Budget $814,455.00
Final construction budget $669,922.00
Cost Savings of $144,533.00