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Helibeam System integral to historic masonry restoration

As part of the $2.1 million restoration effort of the Olympia Theatre and Apartment Building in Miami, Fla., Helifix, Inc. provided a supplementary and sustainable lateral and gravity support system for the building’s distressed veneer. The Helibeam System was an efficient green alternative in restoring the historic theatre. According to Reno Fricano, vice president – North American Operations, Helifix, “… the system provided a non-invasive, cost-effective and sustainable stabilization solution in revitalizing the architectural luster and integrity to one of America’s original movie palaces.”

To form the system, two horizontal rows of 7-meter-long, stainless-steel HeliBars were laid in tandem at various levels around the circumference of the building. Installation involved cutting out 1 ¾-in. deep slots in the mortar joints. A bead of thixotropic cementitious HeliBond grout was laid in and the HeliBar was then placed in the slot. The grout-HeliBar-grout process was then repeated on top to complete the composite action of the Helibeam System. When each length of HeliBar came to its end, the next length was overlapped by 1.5 ft. to create one monolithic run around the building; with corners kinked in at a 90-degree bend. The recessed Helibeam was then pointed over the top, rendering it virtually transparent to the naked eye upon completion.  — Helifix, Inc., Streetsboro, Ohio; www.helifix.com