The finished panels will be attached to steel columns on site that hold up the completed canopy. In early 2017, Kreysler was creating small mock-ups of the panels to ensure they fit together properly prior to shipping. All the panels will be complete by the end of the summer.

More than 4,700 miles away in Paris, another new building was recently topped by composites, too. Sicomin supplied materials to produce both molds and parts for five gilded domes on the recently opened Russian Orthodox Cathedral and Spiritual Center. The French company Multiplast SAS, part of Groupe Carboman SAS, produced the domes using Sicomin’s SR8100/SD4772 epoxy infusion system and a specially-developed fiberglass reinforcement lay-up that includes a heavyweight quadaxial fabric with a woven fabric. After fabrication, craftsmen applied 86,000 leaves made from real gold to nearly 7,000 square feet of the domes.

Building Restorations

Composites were an ideal solution for the restoration of the Harris County Administration Building in Houston, built in 1978 to house government agencies and employees. From the beginning, the 10-story building suffered from poor construction practices. Reinforcing steel throughout the building was placed too close to the concrete façade, which contributed to premature corrosion and distress. Combined with shoddy workmanship, this led to spalling, cracking and honeycombing throughout most of the concrete. Conditions were so poor that the county erected scaffolding around the building to protect people from possible falling pieces of concrete.

Sika Corporation in Lyndhurst, N.J., was brought in by Norex Engineering and Johnston LLC Architects during the early design phase to offer recommendations. It then provided both concrete and CFRP repairs during the restoration, which began in 2015 and took more than a year.


EDON Corporation provided the GFRP cornice at the top of Penn Avenue Place in Pittsburgh during renovations of the building, which was originally built in 1907. Photo Credit: Scott Axel

A low viscosity epoxy resin was injected into the concrete to stabilize cracks, then a variety of CFRP solutions were used for additional reinforcement. Sika utilized a unidirectional fabric, which was installed along the top and bottom flanges on sunshade beams and interior corners between the sunshade and outrigger beams where cracking was widespread. It also used a ± 45 degree, double bias CFRP fabric on the middle section of I-shaped concrete beams for shear reinforcement. In addition, CFRP repairs were made in areas with post-tensioned concrete beams to strengthen overstressed and cracked sections.