Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133

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    SuperScript is a quarterly newsletter from SUPERSTRUCTURES. Founded in 1981, we are a firm of architects, structural engineers, and conservators dedicated to the art and science of exterior restoration.


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      April 14, 2022

      Terra Cotta Shouldn’t be a “Triple Threat”

      “Preparing for Terra Cotta Surprises,” Habitat’s recent interview on the restoration of two Upper West Side buildings suggests that clients might expect the final cost for a terra cotta restoration project to be triple the initial estimate. That certainly is a surprise –at least to us.

      Virtually all of SUPERSTRUCTURES’ award-winning preservation projects have involved terra cotta. We bring that experience to every piece of the material we assess and restore, whether on a landmarked building or not. Terra cotta projects inherently have “known unknowns;” it’s a material and anchorage system with well-known potential for hidden conditions.

      Our estimates—including those for projects involving substantial terra cotta—consistently have change orders of 3% or less (if any). Anticipating “known unknowns” like terra cotta can mean the difference between on-time, on-budget projects, or ones with big surprises for the client. This is a good example of the Boy Scout’s motto—Be Prepared—in action.

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