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Abbot Building Restoration removed and replaced weatherproofing sealant at the Pleasant Street Apartments in Malden, Mass.
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The bell tower at St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Mass., was carefully removed and replaced, stone-by-stone, by Abbot Building Restoration.

After the bids are submitted, the consultant reports the results and reviews the bids with the owner/manager. The consultant typically selects the two lowest bidders and interviews each candidate. For private contracts, the final decision is not always based on cost; for pubic contracts, the low bidder customarily wins the job.

Case study: Pleasant Street Apartments

An excellent example of a successful design/build process is the repair project at the Pleasant Street Apartments in Malden, Mass. Built in 2006, the 204-unit high-rise structure began to exhibit various issues with the building enclosure shortly after it was occupied. VP Consultants LLC (VPC) in Cambridge, Mass., was hired to review the structure, determine the present condition of various exterior elements, and identify the work necessary to perform the repairs.

According to managing partner Michael Velji, VPC drafted a remedial plan with preliminary budgets and met with the building owner/property manager to select the option that best fit their requirements. After bidding the proposed work to various qualified contractors, the owner interviewed the two low bidders. One of these was Abbot Building Restoration Co. Inc. of Boston, a well-respected masonry repair and maintenance firm. With the owner's approval, Abbot was selected for the project based on strong qualifications and competitive pricing.

Based upon the scope of work in VPC's plans, Abbot removed the original sealant throughout the entire façade and replaced it with a two-stage silicone sealant system to provide a tight weatherproof seal. The contractor also completed additional work, as detailed in the project documents.

Case study: St. James Episcopal Church

Another example is the restoration of the bell tower at the St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge, Mass. Built in 1888, St. James Church is a historically significant structure designed in a Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style that was popular in the era. Over the years, the sanctuary has housed many beautiful stained glass windows and a historic bell recast by Paul Revere.

In 2007, the ownership committee contracted Davies & Bibbons, an architectural consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., to inspect the bell tower on the north side of the building where the original stones had begun to dislodge.

Davies & Bibbons performed a complete investigation of the deteriorated masonry, and developed plans and specifications for the remedial repairs. According to engineering manager, Arthur Hayes, after several onsite visits and revisions, the plans included removing the entire bell tower down to the roofline, and rebuilding it using the original stones. The project included repairing some of the buttresses located below the tower that were also deteriorating.

After a similar bidding process, Abbot Building Restoration was selected as the masonry contractor. Under the direction of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Abbot carefully removed and numbered each of the stones, applied new mortar, and replaced the stones in the exact order as they were removed, thereby preserving the historical integrity of the structure.

Michael Norman is vice president of Abbot Building Restoration Co. Inc. Harlan Polishook is a marketing consultant. For more details and project profiles, seewww.abbotbuilding.comor call 617-445-0274.