Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Buffalo, N.Y.

Photo Courtesy of Hnedak Bobo Group Inc.

This $120-million waterfront casino project was revisited and scaled back after the recession stalled the original project and left its partially erected steel frame exposed to the elements for about four years.

The new condensed design eliminated the hotel and entertainment venue and included a small restaurant and bar as well as an attached four-level parking ramp for more than 700 cars.

Most of the original structure's foundations and anchor bolts were reused in their existing configuration. Where existing foundations did exist or did not have adequate capacity for lateral loads, grade beams were used to make use of additional pile caps.

The process of cataloging and verifying the structural integrity of the steel and its usability for reuse was complex. Using business information modeling software, every reused steel component was tagged and tracked so that the steel contractor could be provided with a list of correlated material to the various stockpiles.

Large inventories had to be sorted to determine which steel was to be kept and which was not needed and could be sold as surplus. The dismantling process took a total of three weeks and involved an immense amount of coordination and teamwork across all project team members. While the process was time-consuming, it paid off in the end, however. Reused steel accounts for about 94% of the new structure at a cost savings of about $600,000.

The team also discovered—through research and conversations with the American Institute of Steel Construction— that there are no existing standards for reuse of steel that has been exposed to the elements for more than six months. The team says the practice developed by its engineers will be the benchmark for future steel reuse in multiple applications.

Key Players

Owner Seneca Gaming Corp.

General Contractor Seneca Construction Management Corp.

Lead Designer Hnedak Bobo Group Inc.

Structural Engineer Wendel

Civil Engineer Wendel

MEP Engineer PE Services

Lighting Emphasis Lighting

Food Services JEM Associates