The Sealant Waterproofing & Restoration Institute (SWRI) is a nonprofit corporation that seeks to elevate the standards of practice within these interconnected industries. At the 2023 SWRI Winter Technical Meeting, the organization granted a Trinity Award to the Fulton County Courthouse restoration for outstanding collaborative partnership between members in the project team: manufacturer Boston Valley, associate WJE, and contractor Mark 1 Restoration.
SWRI states about the Trinity Award’s significance:
“It takes teamwork, innovation and superior craftsmanship to win the Trinity Award. The name “Trinity” was chosen for this awards program because the three member categories (associate, contractor and manufacturer) must be represented on the project, and all three companies must be members of the Institute. We feel this combination represents the ‘best in class’ for our industry. All entries are then judged by a three-person panel of SWR Institute peers, including a contractor, manufacturer and associate member.” (from the SWRI website)
From the project abstract submitted to SWRI:
The project team (3 SWRI members) developed a unique design-build approach to restore the terra cotta, while other teams considered complete dismantlement and replacement with alternate materials. The restoration of this historic landmark building is worthy of award consideration due to the extensive restoration that was completed in an urban environment while maintaining an active civil courthouse. The repair approach required significant input and experience from the Contractor, Associate and Manufacturer to restore many building structural elements while preserving the historic appearance of the building.
For the Courthouse, Boston Valley worked side by side with WJE as they identified the units most in need of replacement, so they could be efficiently reproduced within the project budget. The original terra cotta units had a unique color range due to the use of manganese in the clay. To maintain the through-body clay’s purity in the replacement units, Boston Valley opted to use manganese in the glaze only.
The client initially requested three glaze colors, but we were able to produce the units with one glaze by modulating it through spray application and hand finish techniques. Glaze samples were created to determine the allowed color range, which were evaluated in various light and shade conditions as well as on-site in locations around the building. Once a range sample was selected, we applied the color and finish on full-size units — these were fabricated and tested at our factory to help speed up the review and approval process.
“An extensive restoration of the Lewis R. Slaton Courthouse’s terra cotta facade and slate roof breathed new life into a building that was in disrepair. Funded by Fulton County, Georgia, the $20 million design/build renovation of the courthouse was completed in 2021. The collaboration of the three SWR Institute member companies was critical in restoring this iconic building in downtown Atlanta on time and under budget.” (from SWRI)