Florida’s Capitol Complex has three separate underground parking garages which were completed in 1977, to support the new Capitol Building, as well as the House and Senate Office Buildings. Ajax Building Corporation was hired as the Construction Manager to completely overhaul the Senate and House garages after potentially catastrophic structural damage was discovered in the Senate parking garage due to the immense weight of soil and trees on top of the structures.
Extending more than 20 feet below grade, both the Senate and House garages are uniquely designed, with scalloped roofs that have planters built into them. The hollies planted nearly 40 years ago, matured to 40-foot tall trees and the root systems grew, compromising the waterproofing system and creating pools of standing water inside the garages. More than 150 trees and 7,000 tons of soil were resting above the garages causing immense pressure on the sub-grade structures. Puddles that formed in the garages were originally thought to be an issue of waterproofing, but when tests revealed the main girder supporting the Senate parking garage was severely compromised, the issue became much more serious. The main support girder that held up the Senate garage was cracking under the weight of nearly 4,000 tons of soil and landscaping, and was becoming overstressed.