Raise the Roof!
When a Silicon Valley-based design and manufacturing company needed to move into their newly purchased office building with a connected warehouse in Fremont, they had a few hurdles in their way. First, they needed to remodel the two-story office space. Second, they needed the warehouse roof to be higher. Third, all of this had to be done in an expedited time frame. Toeniskoetter Construction was hired to figure out how to do all of this by their move-in deadline.
The most complicated aspect of this project was raising the roof over the existing 28,050 square-foot warehouse by 10 feet, from 16 to 26 feet. Toeniskoetter worked with Rooflifters, a Florida-based company that specializes in lifting warehouse roofs.
“Toeniskoetter was brought on because they had promised a turnaround time quicker than anyone else could have,” said Marty Shiff, President of Rooflifters. “I was very impressed with their team and at what stage they were able to pick this up and at what stage they were able to jump on it and actually get the client in, in a pretty aggressive time frame. Of all the general contractors we’ve worked with over many years, I think they did an exceptional job of getting this job done on time.”
The roof lifting process began by shoring up the warehouse walls and other parts of the building not being raised. The roof was then separated from the walls and existing columns. Using their patented system, Cribposts were set up throughout the space transferring the load of the building onto the Cribposts to allow the roof to be lifted. The Cribposts house a hydraulic jack that pushes upward, allowing new sections to be added at the bottom as the lifting progresses. A synchronized central control system was used to ensure even lifting throughout the whole process. The lift took place over two full days. Once the lifting was complete, steel crews attached extensions to the existing columns, enclosed the building with additional siding, and reconnected all of the utilities, including electrical and HVAC. Other improvements to the warehouse space included new lighting and new office areas.
Shiff explained the options that faced the company: “You can lift the existing roof of the building, you can knock it down, or you can rip off and rebuild the existing roof structure. The difference is, when you lift a building as is, as long as you stay within existing zoning restrictions and not add any gross floor area to it, it will usually fall under the renovation section of the building permit application process, which has a much quicker turnaround and results in more time and cost savings than if you were to knock it down or rip it off.”
The project also required a complete interior renovation of the two-story, 35,500 square foot office space. The improvements included building out executive offices, conference rooms, a break room and storage room, open office space, and restrooms. The bathrooms and exterior parking area were brought up to ADA requirements. New mechanical units were installed on the roof and the mechanical and electrical systems were upgraded. The architect for the project was Habitec Architecture.
“This was an especially interesting and complicated project,” said Dan Amend, President of Toeniskoetter Construction. “Not only did we have to complete the office remodel in a very short time frame, but we also had the extra challenge of the complex process of lifting the warehouse roof. Working with Marty Shiff at Rooflifters was a great experience. His professionalism and expertise were huge factors in making this project a success.”