Hospitals and asbestos don’t mix. That’s why when The Florida Hospital in Orlando faced the reality of 2,200 linear feet of crumbling asbestos-containing transite wall on its property, ESP had an opportunity to offer a lasting solution.
Asbestos-Containing Canal Wall Crumbles, Puts Hospital at Risk
The hospital is located on a canal waterway that was originally edged with transite panels to prevent erosion. Unfortunately, this older style of transite contains asbestos, and as the panels are exposed to the elements over time they become brittle, causing cracks and crumbling. This crumbling can actually go airborne as asbestos fibers are exposed and begin to escape.
The material in the failing hospital wall is known as “friable” asbestos, meaning easily crumbled, and represents a serious health hazard in the best of circumstances. On the property of a modern hospital, it posed a whole new level of potential disaster. If that weren’t enough, sinkholes had also started to form which made the area even more dangerous.
Notes Carl Hazenberg, the lead ESP engineer on the job,
“Things were deteriorating rapidly, which we understood to mean an increasing risk of people being exposed to hazardous materials. Our team put together and recommended a careful plan to resolve the problem relatively quickly and securely in a lasting, aesthetically-pleasing way.”
Click to see larger images of the thumnails below:
An Encapsulation Strategy to Fix-in-Place
Rather than go to the great expense of removing an asbestos-containing wall which would virtually guarantee the risk of asbestos entering the air in a populated area, ESP recommended installing a new vinyl wall in front of the deteriorating one to encapsulate it well into the next century.
The structural strength and durability of vinyl seawall materials like those produced here at ESP offer longevity and environmental resistance well beyond what concrete, steel, aluminum, transite, and certainly treated timber offer. Not to mention vinyl looks great!
Challenges In Advance of Installation
Before the hospital wall project could break ground, however, many issues first had to be resolved. Permitting on Florida waterways is a slow, detail-oriented process, and Florida Water Management had to review and approve any construction.
Then, city permitting was required and hazardous materials (“HazMat”) issues needed to be resolved. Plus, with the planned future growth of the hospital facilities, new drainage and other engineering issues needed to be planned for before any new wall could be built. Overall, many months were invested in preparation for this important project, with good reason.
The image above illustrates some of the drainage issues affecting the property.
ESP Recommends Trusted Contractors for the Job
After a long process facilitated by ESP’s team of expert engineers and civil planners, the project was ready to proceed.
ESP has decades of experience working with a network of trusted contractors across the country. So when it came time to decide on a contractor to complete the job, ESP recommended a number of highly qualified marine contractors fit for the job.
The interviews were conducted by Mr. James Hurst, Senior Project Manager, Office of Design & Construction at the Florida Hospital. Ultimately, S.E. Cline out of Palm Coast, Florida was chosen for their professionalism and experience in addition to a competitive bid.
In mid-2018, the project was mobilized and initiated by S.E.Cline. Specialized equipment was brought in including backhoes, skid steers, and two specialty hammers for driving the sheeting. One of the hammers was hydraulic and the other a pneumatic hammer, both used to drive the Series 5.5 Everlast vinyl sheeting into very compacted sands found in the lake bottom.
The pneumatic hammer, created by Collins Hammer, was used for the last 18 inches of sheet pile driving for additional penetration.
The images below document the installation process:
Brad Lund, another engineer at ESP, concludes,
“This was a great project for the Everlast Seawalls team and our partners. We’re proud to have helped the Florida Hospital arrive at a lasting, safe solution so the people there can continue their important work.”