Advantage's Inspections Team provided investigation and inspections services on the iconic new International Spy Museum building.

The new museum building presented several structural challenges. Unique architecture over an existing parking garage with active retail spaces required creative work schedules, retrofitting, and Advantage's expert structural investigation and inspection services.

The new International Spy Museum was built over a three-story underground parking garage with an existing retail level. The retail spaces and garage were to remain operational during construction. In addition to the challenges of constructing in an active, urban area, the architecture of the museum required a unique structural steel framing design.

Advantage Engineers was brought on to provide engineering consulting support services and to serve as the Special Inspections Engineer of Record. We worked with SK&A, the Structural Engineer of Record, to evaluate the existing parking garage columns and walls.

Advantage evaluated the size and spacing of the existing reinforcing steel assemblies by conducting Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scans. We also cored the existing columns and walls to perform unconfined compressive strength testing of the concrete samples. After our thorough investigation, we determined the existing columns and footings were not sufficient to support the new structure.

The parking garage was strengthened by installing new hollow-bar micro piles within existing footings at the lower level of the garage. Existing below-grade footings, columns, grade beams, and walls were also enlarged and strengthened as necessary. Advantage observed and tested the work, which was performed during overnight hours to keep the property operation during the day.

During construction, Advantage inspected the building structure: structural steel framing with cast-in-place concrete on metal decking and glass façade. The unique pre-fabrcated steel work could only be sourced and constructed at a facility in Germany, so our team traveled there for inspections.

For this project, our Special Inspectors worked night and day to verify the work was performed in accordance with the approved construction documents and the District of Columbia Special Inspections program.

  • Worked nights to insure daytime activities at the building site were not affected.
  • Traveled overseas to perform inspections on pre-fabricated materials.