Blair House, WASHINGTON, DC
Government Facilities Maintenance & Repair Services: Commercial Landscaping Solutions
EMCOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES VALUE DELIVERED
- Remediation of leakage from hardscaped garden area into below grade surfaces at Blair House
- Coordination with State Department horticulturist to protect plant removal that would later be re-installed
- Minimal disruption to formal garden between Blair House and Old Executive Office Building
- Provide correct analysis and remedy for chronic, worsening problem
GOVERNMENT FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SCOPE OF WORK
EMCOR Government Services’ architectural structural team was asked to investigate and create a solution to long standing water infiltration into this Historic Landmark. We were asked to first confirm existing conditions and provide as-built documents that would serve for grounds maintenance and restoration of the garden. We then developed a facility maintenance and repair scope of work to correct the condition, prepared drawings and specifications and provided construction administration.
GOVERNMENT FACILITY BACKGROUND
Blair House serves as the official guest house of the President of the United States. Located at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue, the 1824 structure is one of America’s National Historic landmarks. The Ross Garden, an outdoor space completely enclosed within Blair House, was built on a structural slab over the building’s service areas. Its walks, which surround a fountain, were built using custom-made stone pavers 39 inches square, and the garden is richly planted with specimens that include several large trees. The liquid-applied waterproofing system that was placed to prevent water intrusion into the space below had failed, causing periodic leakage that affected the operation of the facility.
GROUNDS MAINTENANCE OBJECTIVES
Blair House operations were reportedly impacted by water seepage into the service areas below the garden. Objectives were to:
- Stop erosion within the landscaped areas
- Restore the integrity of waterproof barriers at the building envelope
- Assure the long-term stability of the structure supporting the garden
- Continue the use of the property with little impact on the residence guests
- Precisely restore the current garden design, using existing plant material where possible and replacing older and unhealthy specimens
GOVERNMENT FACILITIES SOLUTIONS
EMCOR Government Services, through its Architectural Structural Team was able to successfully diagnose the problems and develop appropriate solutions. We successfully coordinated with a Project Team that includes State Department facilities and construction managers, an independent board that oversees the maintenance of the privately-endowed Ross Garden, and a landscape architect and horticulturist retained by the board. We devised a cost conscious yet effective facilities solution and reduced disruption to Blair House guests during the period of investigation and construction.