Prospect Street Retail Renovation

Looking to increase revenue opportunities, the Italian-American Mutual Aid Society in Ridgefield, CT recently decided to lease out the first floor of their eighty year-old building. The new tenant, Nature's Temptations, a natural food and vitamin store, would necessitate a change in occupancy classification from assembly to retail. Preston Engineering was hired to investigate the implications this would have for the wood, masonry and steel structure.

Though the floor system in question was primarily used as an assembly space, the structure was not designed for the assembly loading requirements of today's building code. The switch in occupancy and usage to retail space, coupled with the weight of heavy refrigeration equipment, necessitated portions of the floor framing to be structurally reinforced.

A major challenge was to design the reinforcing such that the Italian American Society will be able to use their assembly and business spaces in the basement level below the new tenant space during the construction phase. To accomplish this, the existing floor sheathing will be removed, and LVL framing will be sistered to the existing floor joists from above. Where strengthening of dropped girders is necessary, the construction crew will work around the owner's schedule to minimize disruptions.

Ryan Preston is currently managing this project with construction scheduled to begin in Fall 2007. 

Architect: 72 Architects 

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