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Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C., Winner of ACEC New York Gold Award

Ryan-Biggs Associates, P.C., was named a Gold Award winner in the Structural Systems category in the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) Engineering Excellence Competition.  Selected for its work on the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, this award reflects the successful completion of Phase I of the project.  The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was constructed between 1848 and 1892 and is a national historical landmark.  It was built to serve the Albany Diocese, which stretched from Rochester to the St. Lawrence River.

The original brownstone of the cathedral was installed improperly, with the bedding planes oriented vertically.  The orientation greatly accelerated stone deterioration and caused the stone to delaminate.  Prior to the restoration, the stone deterioration was so severe it created safety concerns for pedestrians, requiring sidewalk protection to be installed.  Phase One work encompassed the areas that were most severely deteriorated, which included the north tower and the upper sanctuary walls and parapets.  The work consisted of replacing the original brownstone facing with new brownstone properly oriented with the bedding planes horizontal.

Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects of Albany was the project architect.  Western Building Restoration of Albany was the restoration contractor.

The panel of ACEC New York judges consisted of members of the professional engineering community and construction industry, including military and government officials, organization presidents, members of the engineering press, and educators.  Judging was based on a number of criteria including original and innovative application of new or existing techniques, technical values to the engineering profession, social and economic consideration, project complexity, and meeting and exceeding client needs.  The award will be presented at a formal black-tie dinner dance at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Saturday, April 1, 2006.

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