Development

Denver Office Building Receives 2018 ACE Award for Construction Excellence

DENVERThe Art of Concrete — a creator of distinctive, design-driven architectural concrete — and project partners The Beck Group and Gensler Design, recently celebrated a 2018 ACE Award for Construction Excellence from the Colorado Chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) for the Best Building Project (Under $2 Million – Specialty Contractor).

The team’s collaboration on the renovation of an historic Denver office building located at 1819 Wazee, originally built in 1949, was recognized with a Bronze award for The Art of Concrete’s thoughtful, methodical, and delicate rehabilitation of the existing concrete floors as a focal point of the building’s transformation.

After nearly 70 years of use, abuse, and a multitude of previous repairs, the building’s floors were an amalgamation of several different batches of concrete, scared by patches, trenches, scuffs, and holes. The layers of concrete that remained were soft and brittle, ugly and uneven, and the only way to salvage them properly was to go all in.

“Working on really old, really damaged concrete requires a lot of patience and finesse in the workmanship and the client’s sincere commitment,” says Karen Keyes, of The Art of Concrete’s award-winning work.

The primary issue was the need to densify the existing concrete by reactivating the Calcium Silicate Hydrate that exists within it to make it harder, more dustproof, and abrasion resistant. Doing so requires the application of a silicate densifier, typically added at a ratio of approximately one gallon per 600 square feet of new concrete slab. The level of decay in the building’s concrete, however, required some five times that amount to bring the existing material up to a rejection level of hardness and provide a polish-ready surface.

“Restoring concrete of this age and condition to a level of rejection was truly an artistic investment,” continues Keyes. “We’re also quite proud of the finish. We know the technique and craftsmanship are leading edge without question.”

Building on The Art of Concrete’s commitment to concrete that is as visually remarkable as it is durable, a ride-on power trowel incorporating polishing pads was used to create a custom polished finish across the rehabilitated floors. Incorporating water, this dustless polishing process not only eliminates important wellness concerns about exposure to the fine silica dust typically caused by polishing but also greatly expedites the polishing process.

“In the finished spaces, the concrete floors truly encapsulate the rich history of this building,” says Keyes. “We’re delighted to be a part of a great project team. The Art of Concrete is committed to helping owners, designers, and builders realize their decorative concrete dreams, no matter how grand they may be.”

Photo courtesy of The Art of Concrete

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