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Strengthening and Repair of Las Vegas Distribution Center after a Severe Fire



The Distribution Center Las Vegas (Medellin – Colombia) is the principal storage and distribution center of the big retail company in Colombia. The project has an area of 646.000,0 ft2 and was built in year 2005 (Figure 1). Some years ago, in 4 hours, a conflagration destroyed 430.000,0 ft2 of the warehouse (Figure 2). Being centralized the distribution; all activities of the retail company were severely affected and were necessary, after three months of investigations and redesigns, to begin the reconstruction work. The whole building was divided in 3 blocks (Figure 1 and Figures 3 and 4). The dimensions are indicated in the figures. The height of the columns and walls was variable between 33 ft and 46 ft. For the reconstruction was necessary to consider the most severe specifications to protect the new building against fire. So it was necessary to build new fire walls, 40 ft height supported in the old and new additional frames using the existing deep pier foundations and much of these were unable to resist additional loads. Many of the piers become new loads that were twice the initial loads and for this reason were necessary to strengthen 61 piers (Piers excavated by hand and cast in place).

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