U Mass Lowell – Dandeneau Hall

Project Summary

Location: Lowell, Massachusetts

M&A’s Scope: Structural repair of dozens of timber beams

Noteworthy: Designed and created a unique engineered system of strategically placed long stainless steel screws to reinforce dozens of beams and prevent future warping, twisting and cracking.

Owner: U Mass Lowell

Architect: Perry Dean Rogers Partners

General Contractor: Commodore Builders

This project is our first with the University of Massachusetts. We were pleased to have the opportunity to work on the restoration of Pasteur Hall which was built in 1937 as part of the Lowell Textile Institute. The building was recently renamed Dandeneau Hall after alumnus and benefactor of the restoration and renovation project, James Dandeneau.

This UMass Lowell building will house the mechanical engineering and computer science faculties along with new robotics and computer labs. The four upper floors of this building were scheduled for renovation and restoration, but structural stabilization was required before that work could begin. M&A was called on by Commodore Builders to join this project because we are experienced in historical building renovations, including structural stabilization.

In this case, four floors of the building had severely cracked beams which needed to be repaired to support the spaces being renovated.

M&A leveraged its expertise in historic structural stabilization to complete the following:

  • Where the beams were not too damaged used traditional epoxy pressure injection to reinforce the beams
  • For severely damaged and warped beams designed a unique engineered system of strategically placed 20 to 27-inch long stainless steel screws to correct the beams and prevent future warping, twisting and cracking
  • Designed a jig for each of the unique combinations of screw patterns which were required for stabilizing the beams
  • Re-drilled pilot holes in the required pattern prior to setting the screws to provide needed accuracy
  • Painstakingly addressed areas where the beams could not be drilled; removing and re-drilling the screws

In July 2018, the beam stabilization work was completed with all four floors of the building stabilized successfully, predominantly using a custom designed screw system.

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