Fire Drill Tower Assessment

Fuss & O’Neill provided structural engineering services for the structural condition assessment of an existing fire drill tower. The structure consists of a two-story smoke house and a four-story training tower constructed of exterior CMU walls and interior reinforced concrete elements. The tower is a critical resource that provides training opportunities to firefighters from several surrounding communities.

The structural engineering team was tasked with reviewing the original construction drawings for the training tower to better understand the design intent, performing a visual inspection of all the structural elements of the tower, coordinating and overseeing the concrete testing and sampling program, and performing a detailed structural analysis of any elements believed to be deficient or deteriorated.

A comprehensive report detailing our findings and recommendations was delivered to the owner along with construction cost estimates for the recommended repairs and the development of a maintenance and inspection program.

Challenge – With no prior structural assessments or evaluations of the existing drill tower, establishing its baseline condition and understanding how the structure has held up over time put us at a disadvantage; however, a rigorous testing and inspection plan provided the confidence needed to recommend and design appropriate repairs.

Success – Armed the results of our investigation, the concrete testing data, and the estimated construction costs for the implementation of the recommended repairs, the Town of Darien was able to confidently make an informed and economical decision regarding future investments in the existing structure.