Structural engineers from Keast & Hood are a bit baffled in the belfry of historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia. As part of a planned $4.3-million renovation, triggered by leaks in the landmark’s tower, the local firm discovered that several lines of iron rods, which run vertically down the center of the tower’s 2.75-in.-thick wooden siding, have significantly deteriorated. But the team doesn’t know why the rods are there in the first place, so they don’t know if they need to be repaired or replaced. Photo: National Park Service Philadelphia tower built in 1828. Photo: National Park Service Purpose of rods
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.