Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, now a part of Florida Atlantic University, may be best known for its scientists’ discovery of the Challenger space shuttle rocket booster on the ocean floor – the smoking gun that proved a faulty O-ring caused the 1986 explosion.
It’s one of a few organizations in the world that can run manned deep sea submersible research vehicles along the ocean floor.
Johnson House Pool
The large, round pool has been used to test acoustic sensors to keep manatees from getting stuck in gates and to rehabilitate, strengthen and prepare wild dolphins for release back into their natural habitat.
The pool is enclosed with a dome structure with screened panels. Maintenance ladders for the dome and several of the screen panels were in need of repair or replacement. The damage was caused by previous high wind tropical storms.
What We Did:
- We repaired (4) ladders: We removed the rolling apparatus that holds the ladders to the top ring. These were bent and damaged. We had them repaired and reinstalled properly.
- We also designed a system for holding the ladders in place when not in use with Stainless steel anchors that are easily attached and unattached when needed. These prevent high winds from lifting the ladders out of place and causing damage to the ladders and to the screens.
- We also replaced all of the wheels that the ladders roll on. The previous wheel replacement, by others, did not use the proper UV protected rollers causing premature degrading and failures. Additionally our wheels have a grease zerk for long term usability.
- We replaced all torn screens on over 20 openings with 20/20 screen. This screen matched the existing screen perfectly.
- We also attached a fall-protection rope with a rope grab on each ladder, so that maintenance people have a way to stay safe if they perform any work themselves.
- Assorted hardware—Stainless Steel Bolts- 4″ Wheels
- Super Screen – exceeds Section 553.73 of the Florida Building Code for pool fencing.
- We finished just a couple days prior to the strongest, costliest and deadliest storm of the 2016 season, Hurricane Matthew, the southernmost Category 5 Atlantic hurricane on record. The dome survived this onslaught with no issues. The University was ecstatic since they had just hired us and thought that if it was damaged they’d have to pay us to do the job twice.