Terra-Petra provided methane testing services for an existing 3-story, slab-on-grade building located at 601 East 5th Street in Los Angeles, CA. The 16,500 SF 1922 building is being renovated as a homeless shelter.
The building site is located within a City of Los Angeles Methane Buffer Zone. The methane soil gas investigation complied with LADBS Information Bulletin Ref. No. 91.7104.1, P/BC 2002-101, was performed under Terra-Petra’s LADBS Methane Testing Lab License #10224.
Overcoming Methane Testing Difficulties
Terra-Petra has encountered a few difficulties performing work within existing buildings. One such difficulty is limited accessibility.Standard truck-mounted drill rigs can’t access the inside of a building if there’s not enough head clearance (ceilings lower than the top of the drill) or a limit on door opening size.
Drilling equipment must fit through the front door, be lower than the ceiling, and be light enough to be handled by personnel or pushed on a hand cart.
Once inside the building, underground utilities may be challenging to locate, as DigAlert only identifies exterior utility lines. As-built plans are always essential when working indoors. If these plans aren’t available, utility clearance equipment may be employed.
About Core Cutting
Another difficulty is the existing concrete slab. Most direct push equipment can punch through existing concrete slabs, but leaves a less-than-optimal hole that needs to be repaired after use. Core cutting through the slab is another option that allows a clean cut through the slab and is easy to repair.
Core cutting also adds time and costs to the project. But, if a slab is post-tensioned, it is imperative that the cables are located prior to entering the slab, since hitting a cable could damage the structural integrity of the slab.
These are just some issues associated with completing a methane investigation inside an existing building. Terra-Petra is, however, always well-equipped to get the job done, no matter the situation. And the success of the 601 East 5th Street building inspection has proved that to be true. We are proud to contribute to the Los Angeles City Center Redevelopment Plan.