Wind Retrofit 1
Wind Retrofit Fire Station
  • ClientPlaquemines Parish Government
  • LocationPlaquemines Parish, LA
  • Cost$2.6M

Key Services:

Site Inspection & Assessments

Improvement Plans & Recommendations

Preparation of Construction Contract Documents

Cost Estimating

Bid/Award Phase Services

Construction Phase Services

Trigon was the prime engineer for this project and provided engineering/design as well as extended construction phase, change order and claims management, close-out, resident inspection services, and federal/state funding coordination services.
Design Approach and Features
The project included retrofitting 30 existing public buildings/facilities throughout Plaquemines Parish. The objective of the project was to protect the integrity of the building envelope to mitigate the effects of wind hazards (following damage by Hurricane Katrina) and avoid building failure by envelope penetration. The hardened structures have adequate structural integrity to minimize future damage from natural hazards (ie, tornadoes or hurricanes). Hardening measures were designed to protect against hurricane-force winds (in compliance with the Miami-Dade County requirements for High Velocity Hurricane Zones (HVHZ) as well as the requirements of local and/or state building codes.
The project included modifications to the exterior and load-bearing walls, roof, or doors and windows to keep the building envelopes intact and provide adequate anchorage to transmit wind forces from the roof down through the foundation. The retrofit to reduce damage included reinforcing or replacing garage doors with storm-rated assemblies, reinforcing double-entry doors, installing roll-down shutters on exterior door entrances, Installation of new specialty connectors on roof joists to the exterior wall top plate, and installing shutters or window covers.
This hazard mitigation work was funded through, and required close coordination with, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) as well as the client’s management consultants for Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMG) Program projects. The project was required to meet a specific set of requirements to ensure that the project met the HMG program requirements, Federal environmental laws and regulations, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness requirements.
General services provided by Trigon consisted of:
  •  Assessment and inventory of all buildings, noting all dimensions and opportunities for external hardening.
  •  Preliminary design, including development of sketches and layouts for buildings and hardening measures.
  •  Final design, including preparation of construction contract documents (including plans and specifications) for tender/bid.
  •  Development of Opinions of Probable Construction Costs (OPCC) for each design phase.
  •  Bid phase services, including preparation of addenda, review, and tabulation of bids.
  •  Construction phase services and full-time resident inspection of work.
  •  Change order and claims analysis, recommendations, and management.
  •  Additional construction phase and close-out services required because of the extreme delays in completion by the contractor as well as coordination efforts among the HMG Program manager, FEMA, and GOHSEP.
The project was extended for years due to circumstances beyond Trigon’s control. The construction contractor was inexperienced in public works projects and struggled significantly with all aspects of the work, including providing schedules, managing subcontractors, logistics, progress, change orders, etc. The original construction contract duration was 180 days (to be completed in 2012) but was not fully completed and accepted until 2018. Because of these delays and problems, there were numerous ramifications to the client including potential loss of federal funds (ie, HMG funds come with deadlines), non-payment claims from subcontractors, loss of utilization of portions of buildings/facilities, potential loss of FEMA recovery funds (post-Hurricane Isaac) and more. Termination/default and legal actions were considered by the client at several points during the course of the project; Trigon supported the client by providing analyses of the risks and impacts of terminating versus not terminating. The project was further complicated by damages to buildings caused by Hurricane Isaac (2012), requiring Trigon to perform post-hurricane damage assessments on all buildings and provide field order changes to address.
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Trigon Associates
1515 Poydras Street, Suite 930
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
P: (504) 585-5767
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