BATAVIA — Genesee County may add up to $80,000 in work to insulate part of the perimeter of the future $70 million jail building.
The Ways and Means Committee Wednesday supported the change order, moving a resolution to OK the change order to the Legislature for consideration.
County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said a review by the architect, engineer and local code officer found a gap in the insulation around the pods in which the inmates will be housed when the jail is operational.
“When you construct a building, you are required, under the energy conservation construction code to provide a continuous thermal barrier on the outside of the building, basically to prevent freezing, cold air, convection/conduction of cold air, into the space,” Hens said. “The way that our construction documents exist now, there’s about a 6-inch gap at the top of the perimeter wall — the foundation wall — around the pods area.”
This is a very difficult construction detail, the highway superintendent said.
“There’s really not an easy way to insulate it to meet code. Greene County built their jail with this 6-inch gap. They basically made the local decision that, ‘We don’t care what the code says. We’re going to build our jail the way we want to build it,” Hens said. “Our code officer caught it and, in my opinion as an engineer, it doesn’t meet code. We could say, as Genesee County … ‘Just build it the way Greene County built it.’ The risk in doing that would be, you would open up at some point … At some poiht in the future, if an inmate ever complained about te floor being cold, you could, potentially, have to go back after the fact and try to do that after this place is built.”
Doing that after the $70 million jail is built would be all but impossible, Hens said.
“You’d have to remove turf, stone, all of the bacccarat caulk around the outside perimeter of the building. You’d probably be three or four times as expensive,” he said. “It is an $80,000 change order, but the fact that we are catching it, we’re addressing it now could save us a lot of headache in the future, potentially.”
Committee member Gordon Dibble asked who has oversight over a situation like this.
“Ultimately, it’s on the architect. In this case, we have multiple eyeballs on it. It’s a very difficult construction detail to try to come up with,” Hens said. He said he and Assistant County Engineer talked for an hour about different ways to address the insulation problem.
“This is really the only way you could do it,” he said.
If the gap in the insulation isn’t addressed, Hens said, “You wouldn’t have cold air coming in, but the concrete itself would conduct the cold, so the cold really has no way of stopping from going through the foundation wall into the slab. If it was the blizzard the other night (over Christmas weekend), probably the outside 2 to 3 feet of that floor is going to feel really cold. It’s going to be frozen. If it’s like today, 50 degrees and rain, you’re probably not going to feel it all.”
Wadhams said the additional work should cost less than $80,000. It won’t go above that amount, she said.
“We’ll make sure that we’re doing our due diligence and keeping costs as minimal as possible.
The Ways and Means Committee Wednesday supported a resolution for a change order to pay for additional insulation installation and protective flashing around the base of all pod areas for the new jai. The jail is being built near County Building No. 2 on West Main Street Road. County Manager Matt Landers is authorizing the additional work with LeChase Construction.
The total amount of the final change order will be determined in the field, with documented time and receipts for materials, the county said in the resolution.