Phone: 206.456.3071 Fax: 206.456.3076
Building 85, in Tacoma, Washington was seismically upgraded as part of a facilities program instituted by the Dept of Veterans Affairs that mandated all renovations comply with the most current seismic codes. As part of a larger master plan study, the campus facilities were scheduled to be renovated to improve delivery of client services and to better manage the VA’s operations. The master plan called for the existing psychiatric facilities to be relocated and the VA’s outpatient dental clinic to move into Building 85. The design challenges included creating a dental suite for patients with tuberculosis as well as adapting the building to current code requirements. The entire building was vacated to allow removal of outdated building systems. The VA determined that the building’s functions were essential and needed to be maintained following a maximum expected earthquake. We designed a new lateral system to maintain the building at an Immediate Occupancy status following a design earthquake. The existing unreinforced masonry walls were reinforced and concrete shear walls were installed to provide the missing lateral system. The building’s exterior façade was maintained to preserve the unique historic character.