Founded in 1915, Whitman, Requardt & Associates is one of the most well known and respected engineering design firms in the city of Baltimore. For many years, the firm had been headquartered in the stately former Federal Reserve building on St. Paul Street in Baltimore. However, with its growing business, aging facility, and an allegiance to Baltimore, the firm found a new location in Fells Point. Dick Lortz and Joe Makar, senior partners at Whitman, Requardt & Associates, approached Harkins to discuss the construction of a new headquarters office building and 400-car parking garage. Although they interviewed other firms as well, Dick and Joe were impressed with the “Harkins Method” and our commitment to work with them as a partner throughout the design, development, and construction of the project.
Harkins preconstruction and construction personnel started regular meetings with WRA’s design staff. The new office building would be a four-story, brick clad, steel frame structure containing 75,000 sq. ft. of floor area. On the south side of the building would be a seven-level, 400-car, post tensioned concrete parking garage. A budget was prepared based on the preliminary design, and our team worked closely throughout the design with the Whitman, Requardt team.
Both buildings are founded on driven steel H piles. During the installation of the piles, the site team encountered old foundations, buried tanks, and other obstructions which gave them a glimpse of things to come. While excavating for the garage concrete pile cap foundations, chromium-contaminated soil was encountered. The result was a shut down of the garage operations and a two month delay to the garage. The Harkins team met intensively with the owner and environmental consultants to establish and implement a remediation plan. Finally, work resumed, and the team was able to complete the garage to coincide with the completion and occupancy of the office building.