The Charter House is an existing 15-story highrise building constructed in 1964 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. The project consisted of the demolition of three floors of assisted living facilities and the creation of 60 independent living apartment units. Additionally, drywall partition and electrical work was performed in the 160 existing independent living apartments. The hydronic heating and cooling piping, and fan coil unit systems were replaced in all 220 apartments on floors four through fifteen. The bank of three traction elevators was completely modernized, including all new machinery, controllers and cables. Work took place while this senior living building was occupied, so major coordination was required on the part of the site team to keep units temperate during the extremes of summer and winter, and to keep two elevators operational during construction. The existing roof was removed and a new roof was installed, again requiring careful coordination to seal the roof each evening due to the occupancy.
Demolition was already underway when it was discovered that the building had a large amount of asbestos fireproofing. Harkins contracted the services of Industrial Hygienists for testing and monitoring, and hazardous material abatement contractors to carefully remove the asbestos. Harkins registered the project with the EPA and MOSHA, so government oversight was in high visibility as the abatement project was underway in an occupied senior building. Sealing off each floor one at a time and incorporating negative air pressure allowed the work to be accomplished safely and successfully.