BD+C University Course https://www.bdcnetwork.com/ en Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/waterproofing-deep-foundations-new-construction <span>Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, Walter P Moore</p></div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/17/2024 - 15:21</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2024-01/Image%201.JPG" width="2400" height="1800" alt="Pre-applied blindside waterproofing installed prior to pouring of concrete wall. Photo courtesy Walter P Moore" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This course covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.</p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Below-grade waterproofing systems can be critical features of building enclosure design, particularly when the structure has a deep foundation. As the foundation goes deeper, there is a greater likelihood that it will encounter the groundwater table and hydrostatic conditions, which makes choosing the right below-grade waterproofing system even more important.</p><p>When selecting and designing a below-grade waterproofing system, the primary factors to consider include the type of foundation system, the project’s site conditions, product performance properties, and construction sequencing. The design specifications for a building’s foundation are influenced by the building size and structural system, as well as the site’s soil and geological composition. </p><p>Foundation systems are typically either categorized as shallow foundations or deep foundations. Shallow foundations are used when the structural loads can be adequately distributed to a relatively shallow level of soil. Examples include structural slab-on-grade foundations, footings, and grade beams. Deep foundations are used when there are more significant loads that need to be transferred to deeper soil or bedrock. These types include piles, caissons, and drilled shafts, among others. </p><p>While the structural engineer is responsible for the foundation design, the waterproofing consultant needs to understand the type of foundation being used to anticipate the various interfaces and conditions the below-grade waterproofing design will need to reflect. The proximity of the foundation to the groundwater table and potential presence of soil contaminants are critical factors to evaluate, and they can substantially influence decisions about the type of waterproofing membrane to select for the foundation elements. </p><p>To obtain a general idea of how high the groundwater table can be at the project site, one should review the geotechnical investigations report. These investigations are typically performed at the early stages of the project and can involve various subsurface and soil assessment methods, including borings. The report may document whether groundwater was encountered in any of the borings, and it may identify the historic high-water-table elevation or provide a recommended design groundwater table elevation. This elevation should be compared with the building’s foundation elevation, as well as the lowest of any foundation elements—such as the grade beam, footing, elevator pit, or sump—to ascertain whether hydrostatic conditions should be assumed for the project. </p><p>When reviewing the geotechnical investigations report, one should stay cognizant of the fluctuating nature of groundwater elevations and understand that the geotechnical investigations typically capture one specific moment in time. While the report can provide good insights, it does not always paint the full picture of the site’s hydrogeology. The geotechnical investigations report can also provide insight into past uses of the site, and whether contaminated soils are present. For example, former gas stations and auto repair shops are likely to have petroleum or methane contaminants in the soil. Other contaminants can include acid and alkaline water, insecticides, and fertilizers. </p><p>In coastal regions, subsurface saltwater is another consideration; the presence of subsurface saltwater may warrant the use of specific versions of waterproofing membranes designed for these conditions. </p><p>When selecting the appropriate below-grade waterproofing system for the project, one should also consider the owner’s budget and what they consider to be a level of acceptable risk. This information will inform your decisions and recommendations regarding certain waterproofing product features, such as whether membranes are fully welded, adhered, or taped. Construction sequencing may influence items like backfilling and soil retention systems, and by understanding the construction project’s timeline, you can guide the selection of waterproofing products with application methods appropriate for the sequencing. </p><h2>Below-Grade Waterproofing Membrane Systems </h2><p>Before diving into the different below-grade waterproofing product options, it is necessary to understand the difference between damp-proofing and full waterproofing membranes. Damp-proofing is defined as “the treatment of a of a surface or structure to block the passage of water in the absence of hydrostatic pressure.” </p><p>Some vapor retarders are considered a form of damp-proofing. In below-grade applications, vapor retarders are most commonly thinner sheets of polyethylene plastic intended to prevent the transmission of moisture vapor. Vapor retarders offer varying degrees of protection from vapor transmission, depending on the material’s vapor permeability. Vapor retarders with the lowest range of permeability are often referred to as vapor barriers, with vapor permeance values of 0.1 perm or less. </p><figure role="group"><img alt="Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction, Walter P Moore [AIA course]" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="538acabe-14ad-42f4-8f59-29034635886c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Image%202%20%281%29.jpg" width="2400" height="1800" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Installation of post-applied waterproofing membrane. Photo: Walter P Moore </figcaption></figure><p>ASTM E1745, Standard Specification for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill under Concrete Slabs, provides three classes for vapor retarders, all of which share a maximum water vapor permeance of 0.1 perm but have different levels of tensile strength and puncture resistance. </p><p>The 2021 International Building Code (IBC) specifies under-slab damp-proofing to be polyethylene sheets of a minimum thickness of 6 mil with joints lapped a minimum of 6-in.These vapor retarders are typically recommended in non-hydrostatic conditions where there is a low probability of direct contact with groundwater. Per the IBC, the parameters of hydrostatic conditions occur when the “existing groundwater table is above or within 5 feet below the elevation of the lowest floor level where such floor is located below the finished ground level adjacent to the foundation.” </p><p>Seams between sheets of vapor retarder are usually taped. Flashing at penetrations and terminations may use accessory tape, mastics, and/or termination bars. Below-grade waterproofing membranes are intended to protect the foundation elements from groundwater intrusion, especially in hydrostatic conditions. While waterproofing membranes can be vapor retarders or even vapor barriers, vapor retarders may not always act as waterproofing membranes capable of resisting water migration. </p><p>Most below-grade waterproofing membranes can be classified in the following categories: bentonite, thermoplastic, composite, self-adhering, or fluid applied. For sheet waterproofing membranes, the membrane seams may be taped, adhered, hot air welded, or torch applied, depending on the product technology. </p><p>The membrane manufacturers typically have specific accessory products to be used with the waterproofing membrane to form a complete below-grade waterproofing system. The IBC requires under-slab waterproofing membranes to be either “rubberized asphalt, butyl rubber, fully adhered/fully bonded high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or polyolefin composite membrane or not less than 6-mil polyvinyl chloride.” </p><p>IBC requires that waterproofing on below-grade walls extend a minimum of 12 in. above the maximum elevation of groundwater table. In most cases, the 2021 IBC requires as a minimum a 6-mil polyethylene vapor retarder under concrete floor slabs where hydrostatic conditions do not occur. Hydrostatic conditions are considered when the groundwater table is above or within 5 feet below the lowest subsurface floor elevation. Waterproofing is required per the IBC when the geotechnical investigation indicates hydrostatic conditions, and a groundwater control system is not provided in the project design. </p><p>For shallow foundations in non-hydrostatic conditions, a vapor retarder may be all that is needed. For deep foundations, there is a greater likelihood that hydrostatic conditions can be encountered, and full waterproofing membrane systems would therefore need to be used. Even in deep foundations with non-hydrostatic conditions, it may be prudent to include waterproofing membrane on vertical foundation elements such as walls, as most polyethylene vapor retarder products are primarily intended for horizontal under-slab applications. </p><p>In new construction projects, below-grade waterproofing membranes can be installed before foundation elements are constructed; these systems are referred to as pre-applied or blindside applications. Alternatively, the below-grade waterproofing membranes can be installed after foundations are in the ground; these systems are called post-applied systems. When choosing between pre-applied and post-applied membranes, the decision is usually driven by construction logistics, site constraints, and foundation construction methods. Installation of post-applied membranes requires soil excavation to keep foundation elements exposed after the concrete has been cast. That may be a reason to choose pre-applied membranes for some sites because deeper foundations would require a wider footprint of soil excavation if post-applied membranes were to be used. If shotcrete is being used on foundation elements in contact with the below-grade waterproofing membrane, pre-applied membrane systems are the only option.</p><h2>Pre-applied Below-Grade Waterproofing Membranes</h2><p>There are several types of pre-applied (blindside) waterproofing membranes, including bentonite, thermoplastic, and composite. Bentonite membranes typically consist of sodium montmorillonite clay granules integrated into geotextiles. Some products include an HDPE layer and a polypropylene layer for additional waterproofing protection. A distinguishing feature of bentonite membranes is that bentonite swells when it comes into contact with water, creating a monolithic barrier against the foundation. Bentonite can swell up to 15 times its original dry volume, and it has the ability to repeatedly re-swell when dried and hydrated again. To be fully effective, bentonite waterproofing membranes must be compressed against the concrete foundation elements to form a mechanical bond. </p><p>Seams can be mechanically fastened, or adhered using adhesive or mastic products, depending on the manufacturer. Thermoplastic waterproofing membranes for foundations are made from materials similar to those used in thermoplastic roofing products. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ketone ethylene ether (KEE), and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) along with reinforcing fabrics are key components of the waterproofing membranes. </p><p>The below-grade thermoplastic membranes tend to be in thicker forms than their roofing counterparts. Supplemental layers such as polymers or butyl adhesives provide the bonding mechanism that allows the membrane to integrally bond with the concrete foundation cast against it. Some thermoplastic membranes may also use HDPE. Seams are either heat welded or taped. Composite membranes consist of several layers combined in one membrane, typically including an HDPE layer, a protective coating layer, and an adhesive layer. Seams are self-adhered together. While each layer serves an intended purpose in the waterproofing membrane, there is a possibility of delamination between the individual layers, as the component in contact with the foundation is the only one fully bonded to the concrete.</p><p>Other pre-applied below-grade waterproofing products include modified bitumen-based membranes, such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymer, often with a polyester or fiberglass reinforcing layer. These tend to be thicker membranes, and their seams are heat welded.</p><h2>Post-applied Below-Grade Waterproofing Membranes</h2><p>Post-applied waterproofing membranes can be either self-adhered or fluid applied onto the foundation. Because the waterproofing system is usually designed to be continuous around the foundation, installers may need full access to the exterior surfaces, and achieving that access may involve a significant amount of excavation. </p><p>Self-adhering waterproofing membranes designed for below-grade applications typically consist of rubberized asphalt with an HDPE film. When using self-adhering membranes, primers may still be required to achieve proper adhesion to the concrete. Membranes should be kept clean and free of dust and debris, particularly at laps, as the waterproofing system relies on strong membrane-to-membrane bonding at seams to maintain full effectiveness. </p><p>Fluid-applied waterproofing designed for foundations can be trowel grade or formulated for spray applications, and they are asphalt emulsion based and polymer modified. Because these products form monolithic waterproofing layers during installation, fluid-applied systems do not share the risk of seam failure that sheet membranes inherently possess. Maintaining a consistent, uniform thickness throughout the application process is the primary challenge with fluid-applied waterproofing membranes. </p><h2>Deep Foundation Challenges </h2><p>When site conditions and project design warrant the use of deep foundation systems, the structural components that the design team chooses may increase the complexity of the below-grade waterproofing design. Soil retention systems and any related elements that may disrupt the continuity of the waterproofing should be addressed and detailed during the design phase. Even supplementary items, such as concrete protection slabs, should be accounted for in the overall waterproofing strategy and discussed with the waterproofing manufacturer to ensure all items with which the membranes come into contact have been comprehensively reviewed and approved. </p><p>The following sections review elements that can be sources of deviations from an even and consistent substrate for the waterproofing membranes. Manufacturers will typically have system-specific guidelines and accessory products for these conditions, but it is still recommended to verify with their technical representatives whether the correct approach is being pursued on your project as the manufacturer will likely have specific warranty requirements.</p><h2>Lagging Walls for waterproofing foundations </h2><p>A lagging walls system is a common method of soil retention. The lagging walls consist of steel H-member soldier piles with infill material—either precast concrete, steel boards, or, most commonly, wood planks or boards—stacked between the steel flanges to prevent soil from entering adjacent excavated areas. These systems can be front lagged, which means the wood planks are positioned at the front of the soldier piles in the direction of the excavated area, or they may be middle lagged—with the wood planks positioned in the center of the soldier piles—or back lagged—with wood planks positioned in the back. </p><p>For the purposes of below-grade waterproofing installation, front lagging is the most preferable of the three options because it provides the most even and continuous surface for the waterproofing system. Middle or back lagging introduces gaps between the outer face of the wood planks and the soldier pile’s outer flange. Some waterproofing manufacturers may not allow gaps in the substrate over a certain width for the waterproofing membrane or drainage board—if being used—and infill such as spray foam insulation may be needed to reduce the gap widths.</p><h2>Foundation Piles</h2><p>Pile foundations are often used when larger loads must be transferred to a deeper level of soil or rock. When designing the below-grade waterproofing system around piles, it is important to consider the following questions:</p><ul><li>What is the pile material? Concrete and steel piles tend to be the most common. Verify with the waterproofing membrane manufacturer which substrates are acceptable to them.</li><li>Will the pile be composed of more than one material? For example, concrete piles in a steel casing can present different risks than piles made of concrete alone. Waterproofing consultants may need to coordinate between the waterproofing manufacturer and the structural engineer to determine whether the risks can be avoided with a pile flashing detail that is acceptable to all project stakeholders.</li><li>Will the piles connect to pile caps? The shape of pile caps—in section—can have implications on the waterproofing membrane installation. A minimum dimension for the pile embedment into the pile cap will be required by the engineer for proper load transfer, but there should also be sufficient pile height for the waterproofing membrane under the pile cap to lap and flash onto the pile surface, as required by the waterproofing manufacturer. Between these two considerations, the greater dimension should be used. </li></ul><p>These items can sometimes require several rounds of discussion and coordination involving the waterproofing manufacturer, structural engineer, and pile designer or engineer—if included—to satisfy each party’s requirements and to consider alternative design approaches. It is best to start these discussions early to prevent costly change orders or delays in the schedule.</p><h2>Ground Anchors And Soil Nail Walls</h2><p>Both ground anchors—also referred to as tiebacks—and soil nail walls are examples of soil retention systems that use steel elements—rods, bars, etc.—inserted into the ground and acting in tension. Ground anchors are prestressed before installation, whereas soil nails are not. Most of the steel rod or bar length does not interface with the waterproofing, but both systems typically have an exposed head of the steel elements with a bearing plate that faces the site excavation. </p><p>Waterproofing manufacturers may have a prefabricated cover to be installed over each anchor head, and the prefabricated cover is then integrated with the below-grade waterproofing membrane. If the specific conditions of the ground anchors or soil nails do not permit the use of the prefabricated covers, it is advisable to consult with the waterproofing manufacturer as it will likely be necessary to generate custom or project-specific details and accessories.</p><h2>Internal Bracing</h2><p>When tiebacks cannot be used due to property line or site constraints, alternative options for supporting the shoring wall, such as internal bracing, may need to be pursued. Bracing within the excavated site can involve rakers and/or struts. Rakers are diagonal components placed vertically against the shoring wall and on the ground, whereas struts are placed horizontally at excavation corners bracing two sides of the shoring walls. </p><p>If the foundation walls are poured around the raker and strut penetrations, the concrete and the below-grade waterproofing system will need to be patched once the bracing is removed. The waterproofing membrane patch should be integral with the rest of the below-grade waterproofing as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions. Before the concrete patches are poured, water stops should be installed continuously along the perimeter of the patch, as each bracing penetration would have a cold joint with the rest of the concrete wall.</p><h2>Shotcrete Walls for waterproofing foundations</h2><p>Shotcrete presents several challenges for effective below-grade waterproofing that stem from the nature of the application process. These issues primarily arise from overspray of the shotcrete as well as the potential for more voids and cold joints than would occur in cast-in-place concrete construction. </p><p>Experienced shotcrete applicators and contractors are essential, as excessive overspray can affect the overall adhesion between the shotcrete and the waterproofing membrane. Shotcrete is typically installed vertically in “lifts,” which may introduce more cold joints than traditional cast-in-place concrete. Additionally, in blindside applications, the shotcrete applicators should take extra care in ensuring full coverage around reinforcing steel to minimize the amount of voids between the foundation and waterproofing membrane. </p><p>The positioning and frequency of reinforcing steel can occasionally block shotcrete from reaching and bonding to the waterproofing membrane, which could create weak points in the below-grade waterproofing system. Some waterproofing manufacturers have blindside membrane products specifically designed for shotcrete applications and specify that these products must be used on the shotcrete portions of the foundation. These topics should be thoroughly discussed with the design and construction teams, with the available options for waterproofing the shotcrete portions of the foundation evaluated against the owner’s risk tolerance.</p><h2>Supplemental Concrete Slabs </h2><p>In addition to the concrete slab-on-grade foundation, contractors may also propose providing a rat slab or protection slab. Rat slabs, also referred to as mud slabs, are placed over the excavated soil, often to provide a uniform surface for the waterproofing membrane installation. While the use of rat slabs can be an alternative to meeting the grading and compaction requirements specified by the waterproofing manufacturer, it is important to ensure that the rat slabs are smooth and free from surface inconsistencies that can puncture the membrane. </p><p>The manufacturer may also have concrete surface profile requirements for the exposed face of the rat slab that serves as the membrane substrate. Protection slabs are placed over the waterproofing membrane and are intended to protect the membrane from construction traffic and other potential damage before the slab-on-grade foundation is poured. In this case, the waterproofing membrane would become directly bonded to the protection slab instead of the structural slab-on-grade foundation, which is the more important component to be waterproofed. A cold joint would now exist between the protection slab and the structural slab-on-grade foundation. </p><p>For protection slabs to be effective instead of a potential liability, they should be properly designed with sufficient thickness, reinforcing, and cover. If the protection slab is too thin, it may be especially susceptible to cracking, which could compromise the waterproofing membrane’s performance. It is recommended to provide an additional layer of blindside waterproofing membrane over the protection slab, with this layer to be fully bonded to the structural slab-on-grade foundation, particularly in hydrostatic conditions.</p><h2>Reinforcing Bar Considerations for waterproofing foundations</h2><p>As concrete foundations go deeper, more reinforcing steel is installed. To keep the reinforcement in the correct position, reinforcing bar ties, which connect to metal clips, are often used. Each clip is a penetration through the waterproofing membrane and must be addressed in a method approved by the manufacturer. </p><p>Another risk is that reinforcing bars are too close to the waterproofing membrane. That could pose structural issues, such as insufficient cover on the concrete foundation element, as well as waterproofing issues since the waterproofing membrane should be in direct contact with concrete to achieve proper adhesion. Dobie blocks, which are small concrete cubes with metal ties, can be used as a simple way to position the reinforcing bars a standard distance away from the waterproofing membrane.</p><h2>Conclusion </h2><p>With any foundation, whether shallow or deep, it is critical to properly design and install the below-grade waterproofing system as the system will be exponentially more difficult to access or repair as construction progresses. Although deep foundations are more challenging to waterproof, early discussions and collaboration with the design team and engineers can be beneficial in developing a foundation design that is waterproofing friendly and minimizes risk.<br /><br />About the Author<br />Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE is an enclosure consultant with Walter P Moore’s Diagnostics Group. He can be reached at <a href="mailto:achan@walterpmoore.com" data-cke-saved-href="mailto:achan@walterpmoore.com">achan@walterpmoore.com</a>.</p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/structural" hreflang="en">Structural</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/site-preparation" hreflang="en">Site preparation</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/moisture-solutions" hreflang="en">Moisture Solutions</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamilypro/mfpro-course" hreflang="en">MFPRO+ Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/arenas" hreflang="en">Arenas</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/collegiate-stadiums" hreflang="en">Collegiate Stadiums</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/cultural-facilities" hreflang="en">Cultural Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cultural-facilities/museums" hreflang="en">Museums</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cultural-facilities/performing-arts-centers" hreflang="en">Performing Arts Centers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/education-facility" hreflang="en">Education Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/education-facilities/higher-education" hreflang="en">Higher Education</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-types/university-buildings" hreflang="en">University Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/events-facilities" hreflang="en">Events Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/government-buildings" hreflang="en">Government Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/healthcare-facilities" hreflang="en">Healthcare Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/hospital-design-trends" hreflang="en">Hospital Design Trends</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/hotel-facilities" hreflang="en">Hotel Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/mixed-use" hreflang="en">Mixed-Use</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/multifamily-housing" hreflang="en">Multifamily Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/apartments" hreflang="en">Apartments</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/luxury-residential" hreflang="en">Luxury Residential</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/condominiums" hreflang="en">Condominiums</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-types/office-building-design" hreflang="en">Office Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/transit-facilities" hreflang="en">Transit Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/transportation-parking-facilities" hreflang="en">Transportation &amp; 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Sullivan, Contributing Editor</p></div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/17/2024 - 14:28</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2024-01/1.%20OPENER%20Eastwood%20HS_Michael%20Robinson%20photography%20DLR%20Group%20copy.jpg" width="2200" height="1324" alt="The new theater at the expanded Eastwood High School in El Paso, Texas, designed by DLR Group. Photo: Michael Robinson Photography, courtesy DLR Group" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>A look at design trends for “budget-wise” performing arts facilities reveals ways in which well-planned and well-built facilities help performers and audiences get the most out of the arts.</p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>New technologies, innovations, and tools are opening doors for building teams interested in better and yet less-expensive performing arts facilities. A look at design trends for “budget-wise” performing arts facilities reveals ways in which well-planned and well-built facilities help performers and audiences get the most out of the arts.</p><p>“A growing number of K-12 school districts, small-sized higher ed institutions, and small- and mid-sized communities are stepping up their game when it comes to performing arts facilities—with more well-appointed dedicated or multipurpose theaters,” says Carmi Bee, FAIA, President of RKTB Architects, which just finished the community venue Sam’s Stage in Massachusetts, as well as multifunction auditoriums for various New York City schools. “The key is to dream big and then to plan smart to make the most of a limited budget by incorporating the latest technology while fine tuning project scale, stages, circulation, and seating.”</p><p>Performing arts settings are synonymous with flexible, multipurpose, technology-dense spaces, says Tara Ogle, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal and Director of Architecture with Page &amp; Turnbull, which has been working on theaters for a boarding high school in Claremont, Calif., and a Bay Area middle school, in addition to several community theaters. “Schools are looking to leverage limited funds to support a range of programs as they plan for the future, so their projects are shifting from a very specific performance focus to spaces that can host a broad range of activities, often paired with symbiotic programs like recording and broadcast booths, maker spaces, and even robotics and virtual reality labs,” says Ogle. “Some go as far as providing the ability to break large spaces into smaller teaching areas, and then back together again.”</p><p>This is especially important for the K-12 market, where cost control tussles with desires for maximum flexibility and adaptability, often the main aim for performance spaces, says Barry Nebhut, Principal with VLK Architects. “Our first rule is, don’t put your budget in the house. Put your money and budget in the technical side, where the education happens,” he says, citing current work building four high schools around Austin, Texas, each with a performing arts center. “If that means making a smaller house, I’ll often advocate for that. Who wants to stage their dance recital with a three-quarters-empty house? Instead, perform the annual musical over a few days’ run with a smaller house.”</p><hr /><a href="https://www.wengercorp.com/"><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/49_BDC1223%20copy_0.jpg" data-entity-uuid="3f7477d2-ba8a-4d70-b12b-c971b26f67b3" data-entity-type="file" width="2200" height="289" loading="lazy" /></a><hr /><p>VLK offers a rule of thumb: For a high school, size the auditorium for a single grade level. For example, a 2,000-student high school would need a theater with 500 seats. “And don’t spend your money buying fancy seats!” Nebhut admonishes school districts. </p><p>For the auditorium design, many schools break the house into four quadrants with a raked front section, a cross aisle about the same height as the stage, a rear seating section and, in some cases, balconies. This strategy helps give the sense of a full house even when some seats are empty.</p><p>Larger high schools often build two performing arts venues: a flexible but traditional proscenium-style theater and a black-box theater, which can accommodate overflow rehearsal needs and adequate stage time for such programs as dance, music, and stagecraft.</p><p>Beyond that, many institutions and municipalities are adding outdoor facilities for both performing arts and a broad range of outdoor learning opportunities, says Page &amp; Turnbull’s Ogle. “Where in the past we’d prioritize acoustic and daylighting control within black-box theater environments, clients today are more interested in spaces with a direct outdoor connection,” she says. “Luckily, technology is stepping up to this need, with flexible sophisticated daylighting controls and operable door and wall systems that provide the best of both worlds.”</p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2A.%20SECONDARY%20Boston%20Arts%20Academy2%20Robert%20Benson%20copy.jpeg" data-entity-uuid="2da61c3e-d98d-4258-9150-498d22846ba8" data-entity-type="file" alt="Wilson Butler’s design for the Boston Arts Academy highlights the accessibility achievable today. " width="2200" height="1650" loading="lazy" /><figure role="group"><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b4043114-7b4a-4aa7-af34-fe0b3c656f64" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2B.%20SECONDARY%20Boston%20Arts%20Academy3%20Robert%20Benson%20copy.jpg" width="2200" height="1469" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Wilson Butler’s design for the Boston Arts Academy highlights the accessibility achievable today. The school’s 500-seat proscenium theater delivers a flexible teaching and presentation venue for students in grades nine through 12. Central to the design are fully accessible catwalks and technical areas that expand learning opportunities for all students. Photos courtesy Wilson Butler Architects</figcaption></figure><p>For the College of Communication &amp; Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University, for example, the new 22,500-sf Drollinger Family Stage is a permanent, open-air, multipurpose venue for the campus and its broader community, says Carlos Madrid III, Principal at Skidmore Owings &amp; Merrill (SOM), which designed two performance facilities on the campus. “The project team’s directives for the last few years have been to create more multipurpose, adaptable, and flexible venues for a multiplicity of users,” he recalls. “So on top of dance, music, and theater, we suggested this outdoor stage could also support film and large-scale traveling arts while serving double duty as a café hangout—it even hosted the Los Angeles mayoral debates in 2022.”</p><p>The elegant, 24-foot-tall facility employs a grid of castellated steel ceiling beams with conduits run through its structural pipe columns. The entire roof system was shop-fabricated and shipped to the site for installation, which allowed for a high degree of precision and minimal on-site welding.</p><h2>Costs and controls for performing arts facilities</h2><p>Combined and multiple-user facilities are helping bring better, more advanced performing arts facilities to small-budget partners. “In conjunction with our firm’s convention center work, we’re seeing several community theaters colocate new, flexible venues along with a small- to medium-sized convention center renovation,” says TVS Principal Emery Leonard, AIA, LEED AP. </p><p>In these amalgams, says Leonard, the two institutions work together to create a larger cultural district, improving cultural placemaking rather than single, isolated uses. “These new cultural districts also work to attract mixed-use development to an area, creating a real 24/7 community,” Leonard adds, noting that TVS is currently master-planning a new arts high school colocated with a restored performing arts center.</p><p>Small community theater companies are also independently seeking cost-effective solutions for expanded programs and adaptable technology, says Andrew Franz, AIA, LEED AP, who brings a performance background to his role as Principal of Andrew Franz Architect. “We’ve studied the feasibility of a below-grade expansion for one client, a downtown theater group, resulting in a path to doubling their existing footprint and adding a new black box theater,” he says. “This kind of approach allows a simultaneous upgrade of the existing theater while creating additional rehearsal and event areas.”</p><p>For Sam’s Stage at the Truro Center for the Arts in Cape Cod, Mass., RKTB Architects designed what its client touts as a “beautiful stage able to offer an array of performances in dance, music, and poetry.” Built with “deceptively simple timber construction with integrated infrastructure for lighting and amplification, as well as an acoustically supportive roof,” the dance-oriented facility employs a sprung floor for the safety and comfort of performers. According to RKTB’s Bee, in addition to floating dance floor construction, some venues employ a portable sprung-floor panel system made with pre-built panelized sections.</p><p>Alternative stage systems can help stretch a budget, but the first step is to rightsize the venue and ensure the scale and functionality are appropriate to (a) programmatic need and (b) funding available, says A. Scott Butler, AIA, Founding Director of Wilson Butler Architects, which specializes in the arts and entertainment sectors. “The building team may find that finishes, both exterior and interior, might be a very small slice of the total pie, perhaps around 5%,” he says. “So you won’t reduce your budget by value engineering finishes—you have to reduce the size of the pie, and hold that line from schematics through CDs.”</p><p>Put another way, says Butler, “For a project that would cost $1,000 per square foot, you won’t suddenly find an alternative design for $800 per foot, so work with higher education institutions and project leaders to set realistic expectations: What does the school really need, realistically—with input from cost consultants, acousticians, and others—to deliver on their programs?” Then the team literally creates that pie chart, including not just brick-and-mortar budgets but also soft costs for consultants and engineers, and carefully estimates all construction elements including exterior shell, glazing systems, site work, interior finishes, MEP systems, and specialized theater equipment.</p><p>Adding to the equation is time and scheduling, says Tallal Bhutta, Founder and CEO of BDB Construction, which has experience in adapting commercial structures for use by universities, congregations, and community groups. “The goal is to exceed the owner’s expectations related to budget and schedule by means of a highly integrated approach to project delivery, which ensures high-quality results in a faster and tightly controlled process,” he says. “The construction firm should be involved in the earliest project phases, from predevelopment to schematics, and a partner from conception to completion.” This includes best practices in project management and coordination, supporting Bhutta’s recommendation of a “consultative role where the general contractor helps review design decisions for timetable impacts, constructability issues, and possible cost reductions.” For renovations or conversions of spaces, teams must better predict unforeseen conditions, and quickly address changes—especially creep—in work scope.</p><p>Page &amp; Turnbull’s Ogle agrees, adding: “Plan for supply chain delays. This is a tricky one within an academic environment, where we’re often trying to fit construction in over the summer.” Also, she says, find the right partners who understand the project particulars and “are ready to jump in and actively solve problems as the environment changes.”</p><p>Keeping the design simple helps immensely, adds Butler, who also works on entertainment venues for cruise ships. “Rightsize the stage and venue to make the pie smaller and suitable to the typical users,” he says. “On ships, they can’t have very big crews, so we specify automatic rigging instead of manual rigging and lifts instead of platforms, as well as moving reflectors and motorized lighting, which are state-of-the-art systems now moving into many land-based projects.” All of them reduce maintenance needs, similar to the wide use of LED lighting, which requires fewer changes and lamp replacements as compared to older systems.</p><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3A.%20SECONDARY%20DLR%20GROUP%20%20_UNR%20University%20Arts%20Building_David%20Huff%20copy.jpeg" data-entity-uuid="03bbcb5f-b746-48e1-a90d-b33655f98859" data-entity-type="file" alt="For the University of Nevada, Reno’s University Arts Building, architect DLR Group designed a narrow bowl shape that creates reverberation and the effect of being enveloped by sound." width="2200" height="1486" loading="lazy" /><figure role="group"><img alt="For the University of Nevada, Reno’s University Arts Building, architect DLR Group designed a narrow bowl shape that creates reverberation and the effect of being enveloped by sound." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d6fae569-6674-42ba-89fd-778369922d9a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3B.%20SECONDARY%20DLR%20GROUP%204_UNR%20University%20Arts%20Building_David%20Huff%20copy.jpeg" width="2200" height="3299" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>For the University of Nevada, Reno’s University Arts Building, architect DLR Group designed a narrow bowl shape that creates reverberation and the effect of being enveloped by sound. Diffusive wood paneling further enhances the venue’s acoustics. According to DLR, the lower wooden walls in the space are highly diffusive, broadcasting sound in many directions; upper side walls conceal variable acoustic drapery and acoustic diffusive panels. Photos: David Huff</figcaption></figure><p>“Technology has been exploding with LED lighting and also sound systems today,” says VLK’s Nebhut. “It’s not going down in cost, but greatly increasing capabilities for what systems can do even at a K-12 or community theater level.” He adds that theatrical control systems are also advancing radically, with huge soundboards now giving way to iPad controllers and sound reinforcement systems with multiple setups for dance, music, and theater. “Put your money into those systems now, first,” he advises. “Each one is a learning opportunity for students, too, with future career application in the real world.”</p><h2>Sound Choices for performing arts facilities</h2><p>Architectural and theatrical systems are also offering new ways to plan and execute on another elemental design variable: acoustics. Savvy building teams begin planning for venue acoustics in the earliest phases, beginning with in site selection and options for adjacent occupancies. “Understanding adjacencies around noise-sensitive spaces is a must in a blocking-and-stacking program to minimize extraordinary construction, mitigate noise transmission, and provide the best opportunity for clarity in speech,” says Raymond Kent, ASTC, Assoc. AIA, Principal and Senior Design Leader with DLR Group.</p><p>To allow for acoustic isolation between spaces, Rebecca Krull Kraling, AIA, LEED AP, Planning Principal with HGA, offers a few options for performing arts facilities:</p><ul><li>Use increasingly robust wall systems and structural separations.</li><li>Plan the facilities with buffers between spaces (reducing the need for extensive wall and structural isolation measures).</li><li>Surround performance venues with circulation, creating a buffer between it and adjacent spaces.</li></ul><p>Kraling used the third technique for the Huss Center, a new performing arts home on Saint Paul Academy and Summit School’s campus in St. Paul, Minn. Another tactic used for a new dance and theater building at Macalester College, also in St. Paul, Minn., made ancillary spaces into buffer zones: “For example,” she says, “if a facility needs two rehearsal rooms and each one requires storage, locate the storage between the rehearsal spaces as opposed to putting the rooms directly adjacent to one another, making the rooms’ construction less costly.”</p><p>Acoustics for multiple-use venues adds additional complexity, says Frank Reder, Associate Principal and U.S. Acoustics Discipline Lead with Buro Happold, who has worked on such world-class venues as the Obama Presidential Center and the Sphere in Las Vegas, along with much more modest facilities. “For today’s multiple-use performing arts spaces, acoustical planning can get very complex, and our goal is to create the very best solution for all anticipated uses,” he says. Advocating for diversity and expanded audiences, RKTB’s Bee points to his firm’s work on a multi-use center for the Village of South Orange, N.J., which commissioned a community performing arts center boasting a 425-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium, but also five first-run movie theaters and a multipurpose community space, all serving multiple performance types.</p><p>Even for classrooms doing double-duty as band and choral rehearsal spaces—or for multiuse, hybrid spaces such as cafetoriums, gymnatoriums, and even cafegymatoriums—it’s the same goal, adds Jonah Sacks, Director of Architectural Acoustics with Acentech: “The team needs to ask, What’s needed to achieve great acoustics for every use?” Among the factors to study are spatial volume—especially height—as well as the smart placement of “acoustic reflectors, variable acoustic absorption, and flexible furniture,” explains HGA’s Kraling.</p><p>The process involves the full building team, engaged in a review of proposed buildings, spatial volumes, support spaces, and acoustical elements, says Brandon Ross, AIA, LEED AP, Managing Partner for Texas with PBK. “Working with subject matter experts to ensure the facility’s volumes, geometry, systems, and adjacencies are reviewed in detail and optimized from the very beginning of the design process eliminates unnecessary redesigns or other schedule delays,” he says. “Meeting with acousticians early and maintaining close communication throughout keeps everyone on the same page and ensures the process runs smoothly.”</p><p>Adding to that, increased remote attendance impacts design choices, says Nicole Cuff, Principal for Acoustics with Acentech. “Facilities need to provide an excellent experience for users enjoying a performance live, as well as users (not in the space) enjoying the experience remotely,” she explains. “Facility users need to record and livestream performances, connect with remote participants, and broadcast recorded audio to performance spaces, throughout all market types.”</p><p>For the local crowd, says the architect Butler, bring the orchestra out into the auditorium space with a pit or thrust stage, so sound doesn’t get lost into the stage house. He points to examples such as Wilson Butler’s multipurpose hall for Auburn University in Alabama, which employs relatively conventional systems and works for music with tunable acoustics, which can change the reverberation time of a room. </p><p>“People are just getting smarter about acoustics; they expect better, and project teams are answering to higher aspirations from their clients and audiences,” says Buro Happold’s Reder. “The acoustics team being involved throughout, from the very first project planning meeting, is so important to helping avoid downstream adjustments and to integrating solid principles for comprehensive and positive acoustical outcomes that really enhance sustainability and wellness.”</p><h2>Step Right Up, Sit Right Down</h2><p>Accessibility is another point for high-quality venues, not just the front of house and seating areas, but for all new facilities, says DLR Group’s Kent. “Accessibility and universal design must reach beyond the audience and be inclusive of performers, technicians, and designers,” he says. “For example, automated rigging systems can be designed to be operated by people with limited mobility. Control booths and front-of-house mix positions should also be accessible.”</p><p>Wilson Butler’s design for the Boston Arts Academy highlights the accessibility achievable today. The school’s 500-seat proscenium theater delivers a flexible teaching and presentation venue for students in grades nine through 12, many of them pursuing careers in the visual and performing arts. </p><figure role="group"><img alt="Many institutions and municipalities are adding outdoor facilities for both performing arts and a broad range of outdoor learning opportunities. Photo: Courtesy Page &amp; Turnbull" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d6de6faf-18f4-45fb-97ca-13032c355093" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/5.%20page%20and%20turnbull%2006056_N12%20copy.jpeg" width="2200" height="3300" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Many institutions and municipalities are adding outdoor facilities for both performing arts and a broad range of outdoor learning opportunities. Photo: Courtesy Page &amp; Turnbull</figcaption></figure><p>Each year, they gain first-hand experience in theater operations, from stage rigging to audio and lighting systems. Central to the design, says Butler, are “fully accessible catwalks and technical areas that expand learning opportunities for all students.”</p><p>SOM’s Carlos Madrid emphasizes the universality and access afforded by “flat-floor/black box theaters, a typology providing a very clean, universal envelope with seating such as collapsible tiered metal seating and varied setups from cabaret or runway to conventional theater to a theater-in-the-round.”</p><p>Seating options for such flexible-use performance spaces should be considered carefully, says HGA’s Kraling, asking, “Is it a ‘flat-floor’ space that will be used for rehearsal in an open-floor configuration and also a space that needs to seat an audience, which requires platforms and risers to create proper sightlines to the performance happening in the space?” If so, two general options afford this kind of flexibility: a retractable unit where one can pull risers—and sometimes seating as well—out of a wall pocket, or building risers via portable and configurable platforming systems. </p><p>Savvy building teams know retractable systems may have a higher first cost, though they can be operationally easier to manage if labor for building seating platforms is unavailable. The latter platforming types offer significantly lower first costs and much more flexibility for how the room can be configured, but also demand more space for storage—and more people-power to install, says Kraling. “We have this debate on just about every project, and each institution comes to their own decision based on priorities.”</p><p>TVS’s Leonard adds that flat-floor, telescoping bleachers are a classic solution for flexibility. Page &amp; Turnbull’s Ogle adds: “Flexible benching/seating options that can be configured for everything from a traditional performance to robotics competitions.”</p><p>Leonard says that today’s trending “immersive” shows want the audience closer to feel like a part of the show, which demands exceptional flexibility for the event and experience creativity implied. “We’re seeing how architecture is one of the creative tools to help the performance, like at The Sphere [in Las Vegas], which wears its performance on the outside with customized AV, or the Lindemann Center at the Brown Arts Institute [in Providence, R.I.], where gantries are used to change the geometry of the hall itself,” Leonard says.</p><p>For varied performance venues, says Page &amp; Turnbull’s Ogle: “Underfloor HVAC systems can improve acoustics and maximize flexibility overhead.” She adds that while the desire for increased visual and physical connection to the outdoors poses significant challenges from an acoustic and lighting perspective, varied solutions are possible. “The first thing our acoustic consultants recommend is balancing hard and soft surfaces to control reverberation,” says Ogle. “A wall of glass can be very challenging. Luckily there are some truly beautiful solutions that can be deployed when needed and allow for all of the openness that our clients want.”</p><h2>Plan for Operations: performing arts facilities</h2><p>For project planning, savvy building teams visualize future expectations and operations. “For schools, put your emphasis on learning opportunities: costume shops, scenery shops, props storage, all those are really important, so don’t compromise in the planning phase,” says VLK’s Nebhut. “You can always add acoustical curtains and clouds later, but you need catwalks and rigging right up front. Even an orchestra pit—if it’s not in the project design from the beginning, you’ll never get it later.” </p><p>The types of shows and uses expected will drive decisions, too, says Wilson Butler’s Butler. “For a successful multipurpose space, know the loading-in and -out of the hall: This affects how much crew is required for a  show,” he says. “We try to be highly cognizant of how well a back-of-house design works, and how backstage can be managed and operated.” Multipurpose halls, for example, often referred to as roadhouses, should minimize crew calls for reconfiguring the room, which is costly, but also allow for maximizing seating capacity whether for music performances or Broadway shows or pop acts.</p><p>Replicating a Broadway performance environment in a typical high school may seem extravagant, yet it’s a positive direction for the future of performing arts, says PBK’s Ross. “Schools want to create facilities that accurately represent what students would see in the industry, should they choose to pursue a career in performing arts,” he notes, pointing to the firm’s recent 1,500-seat, multi-tiered facility for Cypress-Fairbanks (Texas) Independent School District’s new Visual and Performing Arts Center. “Preparing students for the professional world means recreating that world as much as possible.”</p><p>For many client groups, however, the mission of funding arts can clash with building team goals, says DLR Group’s Kent. “A trend that continues is one where the organizations are looking to maximize the value of the performing arts facilities with ever-shrinking budgets and competing interests across what are seen as more valuable tracts for the community’s benefit,” he says. “For example, premiums in K-12 or a community college may allocate dollars more in line with STEM disciplines than arts education funding.”</p><h2>Performing Well: Tunable, Adjustable Space Acoustics Come of Age </h2><p>Among the most inventive areas of performing arts technology developed in recent years is a new class of novel acoustic solutions for theaters, auditoriums, concert halls, and other performing arts venues. These products include portable acoustical panels, shells, motorized banners, and adjustable overhead and wall units, either hung or otherwise affixed to the interior structure. Their success among budget-conscious end-users such as K-12 schools, colleges, and community theater troupes has inspired their adoption in larger and even professional venues. </p><p>The variable panels and automated, motorized systems offer the ability to create a dynamic, tunable space ideal for venues with less staff or varied programmatic needs, or both. With tunable acoustics, end-users can change the reverberation time of a room, for example, or adjust the reflective and diffusion qualities of performance spaces and surfaces.</p><p>“These performance spaces should direct sound from the stage to the audience volume, and the adjustable banners and curtains can be used to deaden the room, for example, for amplified music,” says A. Scott Butler, AIA, Founding Director of Wilson Butler Architects. “The orchestra shell is something we can customize, so it has finishes that match the rest of the hall. We also use overhead reflectors that get flown up into the fly tower, as well as acoustic battens.” </p><p>According to Mark Holden, Principal of Acoustics for the acoustic and audiovisual design firm Jaffe Holden (which helped pioneer and design a number of adjustable acoustic systems), double-layer fabric banners are effective for absorbing sound and tuning a room to enhance a wide range of performances. “The acoustics of a room are excellent only for a specific program on the stage, which can range from orchestra and band to amplified Broadway shows,” says Holden. “Getting these professional-level systems into high schools is rather extraordinary, and we’re seeing Texas leading the way in high school acoustic systems.”</p><p>Adds Buro Happold’s Frank Reder, Associate Principal and U.S. Acoustics Discipline Lead, “Building teams should look into these portable and adjustable acoustical products, such as panels, sheets, motorized banners, and adjustable panels, as well as ceiling panels and clouds and wall-mounted acoustic products. They offer immediate and long-term benefits.”</p><p>Portable acoustical panels and motorized acoustic banners are invaluable, especially for budget-conscious projects that need to serve multiple functions, adds Nicole Cuff, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Principal Acoustical Consultant and K-12 Education Market Leader with Acentech. “With adjustable absorption, one space may be used for performance, rehearsal, and lectures more easily than a room with fixed finishes,” she explains. “Facility users tend to prioritize one particular type of performing art and often do not have the budget for another dedicated room to support another specialty.”</p><p>Holden stresses this benefit: “To be able to tune theaters acoustically allows the rooms to be used for a multiplicity of functionality,” he says. “The motorized acoustic banners are on the side walls and within the ceiling area. On stage, you’ll have a moveable, tunable orchestra shell, or concert enclosure, which has ceiling clouds and movable walls that create a concert hall-like environment within the stage. </p><p>“It’s a very sophisticated set of equipment,” concludes Holden. </p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-lu" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/interior-designinterior-architecture" hreflang="en">Interior design/Interior architecture</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/design-trends" hreflang="en">Design Trends</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-lu" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/acoustical-systems" hreflang="en">Acoustical systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/lightingdaylighting-productssystems" hreflang="en">Lighting/Daylighting Products/Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-materials-and-equipment" hreflang="en">Building Materials and Equipment</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/cultural-facilities" hreflang="en">Cultural Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cultural-facilities/performing-arts-centers" hreflang="en">Performing Arts Centers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/facility-managers" hreflang="en">Facility Managers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/building-owner" hreflang="en">Building Owners</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/acoustic-panels" hreflang="en">Acoustic Panels</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-materials" hreflang="en">Building Materials</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/ceilings" hreflang="en">Ceilings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/products-and-materials/lighting" hreflang="en">Lighting</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/structural-materials/wood" hreflang="en">Wood</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/walls-and-partitions" hreflang="en">Walls and Partitions</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/walls-and-partitions/interior-wall-systems" hreflang="en">Interior Wall Systems</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cultural-facilities/performing-arts-centers" hreflang="en">Performing Arts Centers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Wed, 17 Jan 2024 20:28:42 +0000 dbarista 51872 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com For the Multifamily Sector, Product Innovations Boost Design and Construction Success https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/multifamily-sector-product-innovations-boost-design-and-construction-success <span>For the Multifamily Sector, Product Innovations Boost Design and Construction Success</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor </p></div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/30/2023 - 15:05</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2023-10/1.%20OPENER%20WaterfordBay__E1A7563_BLAKELY_D%20copy.jpeg" width="2400" height="1609" alt="AIA Course: For the Multifamily Sector, Product Innovations Boost Design and Construction Success" title="AIA Course: For the Multifamily Sector, Product Innovations Boost Design and Construction Success" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This course covers emerging trends in exterior design and products/systems selection in the low- and mid-rise market-rate and luxury multifamily rental market. </p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><p class="p1">It seems fitting that wider adoption of thin-shell concrete, a technology popular worldwide but somehow unfavored in the U.S., has resulted from the exigencies of the multifamily construction boom.</p><p class="p1">“The load-bearing, tunnel-form systems with modular aluminum formwork, one of the most common techniques across the globe, is now being used more commonly in the U.S. multifamily sector,” says Gensler’s Brooks Howell, AIA, a Principal and leader of varied residential works. “It’s a game changer for housing in many markets if you can find a qualified formwork subcontractor, so it’s clear why the rest of the world sees it as a solution.”</p><p class="p1">The big reasons are speed and cost, says Howell, who has served as a special advisor on development and permitting for two city of Houston mayors. “A post-tensioned concrete tower is double the cost as compared to thin shells, per rentable square foot,” he says. “It simplifies high-rise construction with a dramatic reduction in cost.” Yet identifying that reliable specialty provider is critical, as is engaging an experienced structural engineer. The calculation of structural loads is relatively complex for these structures, according to the American Concrete Institute, which has published code requirements for concrete thin shells. Because of their surfacelike geometry, for example, determining precise buckling loads is tricky.</p><p class="p1">New projects like Ten Oaks, a 12-story thin-shell concrete design by Gensler, located about 30 miles from Houston on a site adjacent to a four-story stick-framed project, offers the developer-owner Resia several benefits. “Our design provides for lots of repetition,” says Howell, “with only three unit types and one window type, one kitchen, and one bathroom vanity, for example. All this simplifies millwork and other building products as well as shipping and installation.”</p><p class="p1">Another fast-turn technique shaping the multifamily market is adaptive reuse, says Tallal Bhutta, Founder and CEO of general contractor and design-build firm BDB Construction. New projects delivered by BDB include the recent conversions of two high-rise hotels in Midtown Manhattan in record time: a former Hilton Doubletree, now an apartment building, and the iconic Marriott East Hotel, just converted into student housing. “These conversions took only seven months from the closing of building sale to the owners obtaining temporary certificates of occupancy, or TCOs, which allow the start of physical occupancy,” says Bhutta.</p><hr /><p><a href="https://www.allweatheraa.com/" target="_blank"><img src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/51_AIA_BDC1023.jpg" data-entity-uuid="398e147a-0ef3-4ef1-9fd3-d65059d9147a" data-entity-type="file" alt="All Weather Architectural Aluminum" width="2400" height="324" loading="lazy" /></a></p><hr /><p class="p1">For conversion projects like these and for office-to-residential adaptations, adding daylight and air are key challenges. “Fenestration replacement often includes newer requirements for operable access to fresh air ventilation, while upgrading the energy-savings performance attributes well beyond the original installations,” says LEED-accredited architect Sean M. Stadler, FAIA, Managing Principal of WDG Architecture.</p><p class="p1">Stadler adds that composite windows are becoming popular also: “These windows provide superior structural quality for mid- to high-rise concrete multifamily projects with much better thermal properties while being lower in cost than quality aluminum windows,” he says. Many of these products offer tilt-turn window operability, which can make a terrace door serve additionally as a ventilation opening.</p><h2 class="p1">Windows to the World</h2><p class="p1">A new generation of fenestration techniques combines energy efficiency and long-term performance with the market-pleasing trend toward more indoor-outdoor experiences. For wood framed or wood-podium projects, Stadler adds, the market continues to have a preference for vinyl window systems because their cost advantage makes it difficult for products like composite windows to compete. “The thermal performance of vinyl windows is far greater than that of aluminum windows, but they can restrain design opportunities because, for example, there can still be limited color options,” he says.</p><p class="p1">In fact, thermally broken aluminum windows and doors are critical to boost their performance in multifamily projects, among others. While they may add to first costs, these high-performance products incorporate a reinforced polyamide bar between the inner and exterior aluminum profiles of the window units, creating an insulated barrier within the window frame, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Studies show that thermal breaks improve sound isolation up to 80% and slow the conduction of heat and cold by a thousand times as compared to standard aluminum without breaks.</p><p class="p1">Planning ahead is essential for these favored products and systems, as many are long-lead-time items. According to architecture firm Cooper Carry, the best strategy for fenestration is bringing in the “glazing installer earlier as a design-assist trade.” For the firm’s project in Atlanta, the project team specified glass imported from Colombia, a jurisdiction requiring unusually extensive research into specifications and performance. Leveraging an existing relationship and combined pricing with a project in Nashville, Cooper Carry achieved an increase in glazing at budget, thanks to the economies of scale. “Early project meetings with the glass installer and a façades and waterproofing consultant reviewed limitations and details, along with pricing, in order to manage escalation,” according to the firm’s architects.</p><p class="p1">Echoing those ideas, Norr’s George Sorich, the firm’s Vice President, Residential, says fenestration specs and installation methods are improving in part due to these improved delivery methods. “One process change is encouraging our general contractor partners to keep most of the enclosure work completed by one subcontractor,” he explains. “Also, we expect to see more and more vertical photovoltaic panels utilized as part of the exterior envelope enclosures as we move closer and closer to net zero,” citing new products and studies confirming their efficacy.</p><figure role="group"><img alt="The 196-unit Lakehouse development in Denver, designed by Stantec and Munoz + Albin" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="79f7700d-984d-449e-b5b9-0063be4c4803" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3B.%20Lakehouse%20lobby.jpeg" width="2400" height="1602" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>The 196-unit Lakehouse development in Denver, designed by Stantec and Munoz + Albin, is the first project in Colorado, and one of the first residential projects in the world, to achieve WELL Certification at the Gold level under the WELL Building Standard. Amenities include an organic urban farm, 70-foot lakefront lap pool, fitness lab, and creative workshops. Courtesy Stantec</figcaption></figure><p class="p1">To simplify and speed façade construction, Gensler’s Howell cites the significant benefits of working with window wall systems, which can be installed between slabs from the inside of the structure, obviating the need for scaffolding or lift equipment. WDG’s Stadler concurs, pointing to modular window-wall systems that also incorporate opaque wall elements, which he believes increase quality control due to their fabrication in shop environments, reducing trade coordination in the field as well as incidental material waste.</p><p class="p1">These pre-assembled exterior wall assemblies, many adopted in Canada, are mainly seen to speed field installation with shop-level quality control. “These assemblies may include an exterior wall weather barrier, exterior finishes, and sometimes windows,” says Stadler. “Some are panelized systems with cold-formed metal framing structure with metal façades, lightweight precast, or EIFS, exterior insulation and finish systems.”</p><p class="p1">Similar strategies have led to a critical eye for other exterior metal-and-glass systems, adds Norr’s Sorich. “In multifamily projects we see today, it’s increasingly rare to see the use of traditional curtain walls, due to cost. But many hybrid systems—which are still essentially window walls—will have metal panels or spandrel glass glazed into the system for fire rating or interior layout reasons,” says Sorich, whose firm is active on multifamily projects in Nashville, Philadelphia, Calgary, Cleveland, and Chicago.</p><h2 class="p1">Accelerating delivery of multifamily housing developments </h2><p class="p1">Slashing project schedules is a recurring theme in practically every market. “A faster building enclosure means faster fit-out and faster occupancy,” says Alexander Briseno, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, a Principal and Studio Design Leader for the commercial and mixed-use sectors at HKS. “With multifamily products, speed to market is one factor that ties into a client’s proforma; this translates into an expedited income stream for the client.” It’s also a driver of high-rise design solutions employing more prefabrication, he adds: “This system of construction can scale depending on local market conditions, but to not implement it at all does a disservice to our clients.”</p><p class="p1">Experienced building teams say that the more penetrations a building has, the more opportunities arise for moisture infiltration. This explains why prefabricated façades have so many proponents. The stick-built enclosure systems popular in metro areas such as Atlanta, for example, tend to be more susceptible to moisture infiltration than those in Washington, D.C., say, where unitized systems are the norm. HKS adds that prefabricated façades can be fully enclosed and tested in a factory and have only four lines of potential infiltration around a 10-foot, 8-inch x 28-foot panel, which spans about 300 sf of enclosure area. “In contrast, a stick-built system relies on the accuracy and quality control of every brick anchor and mullion jamb,” according to the firm.</p><p class="p1">Examples of prefabrication range from basics such as unitized window walls and façade panelization to modularized façades with pre-glazing—and extend to true modular construction. “While the lower end of these systems doesn’t require additional planning, pre-glazed and module systems necessarily affect façade design,” says Briseno. “Prefabrication systems must be paired with rigorous planning grids and expertly located material transitions.” According to the façade engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz &amp; Heger, structures with less repetition, unique wall conditions or geometries, smaller surface areas, or large open sites may not benefit from prefabricated panelized systems, and instead “may be more suitable for field-fabricated (i.e., stick-built) methods.”</p><p class="p1">“Technologies can certainly absorb more dramatic design configurations, but at a cost that generally pencils with only the most luxurious product types,” says Briseno, who has served in AIA and the Urban Land Institute, as well as on architectural review boards, nonprofit groups, and academic positions. “While I appreciate the process and beauty of a gridded façade system, the speed, efficiency, and simplicity are what appeal to many of our clients.”</p><p class="p1">“Time is everything,” adds BDB’s Bhutta. “On the construction site, the building team’s goal is exceeding the owner’s expectations related to schedule—and budget, of course. For the best possible results, it’s essential to involve the contractor in the design/schematic phase to avoid delays later on, and provide for constructability review and budgeting involving the full building team.”</p><p class="p1">In addition, says Bhutta, whose projects are concentrated in the Northeast, project managers and tradespeople should be trained to predict unforeseen conditions and to reduce uncertainty using field experience and relevant knowledge. All of this allows for more consistent schedule acceleration and “critical path innovations,” which describes the creative application of expertise for better phasing, sequencing and resolution.</p><h2 class="p1">Transparent and Opaque walls systems for multifamily housing</h2><p class="p1">For both fenestration and opaque wall systems, variety is the spice of life, say designers from coast to coast. “Patterns are more varied and the cost of vinyl colors has decreased, so we’re finding more readily available colors lets us explore different styles,” says Jeff Mulcrone, AIA, LEED AP, a Partner and Director of Design with BSB Design. He notes that many teams aim high during conceptual design so that premium-level fenestration and façade system specs will remain robust even after value engineering.</p><p class="p1">“This is common in mixed use, especially,” says Mulcrone. “We use a premium commercial product on the storefronts and club spaces but shift to more typical vinyl windows for residential levels above.” To improve the appearance of these solutions, his team relies on clever design strategies to blur the distinction between floors—and quality levels.</p><p class="p1">Gensler’s Howell agrees that vinyl windows are often the first choice, and he cautions building teams to ensure the window assembly’s design pressure is adequate to resist moisture penetration, especially where severe weather is likely. Typical window details include a weep at the window sill, for example, a location where water intrusion is possible during storms with stronger winds if design pressures are underestimated. “Take care not to use inferior windows,” he says. “People are rethinking that now. We’re seeing issues on built projects in Kansas, for example, where seasonal 80-mph winds are routinely causing moisture problems.”</p><figure role="group"><img alt="Ten Oaks, a 12-story multifamily development near Houston designed by Gensler," data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a62f9cdf-f854-4648-bbdb-26196012648b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2.%20Ten%20Oaks%20Gensler%20copy.jpeg" width="2400" height="1552" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Ten Oaks, a 12-story multifamily development near Houston designed by Gensler, is among a growing number of multifamily projects to use thin-shell concrete construction. Why? Speed and cost, according to Gensler’s Brooks Howell, AIA. Rendering: Gensler</figcaption></figure><p class="p1">Solutions for detailing wall openings include nail-fin windows installed over peel-and-stick flashing behind the wall, as well as sub-sill systems with appropriate seals that can achieve superior weathering performance. While these proprietary manufacturer designs may be slightly more complicated to install in some U.S. regions—and slightly pricier—subsills allow for excellent drainage and, when fully sealed with purpose made end-caps or aluminum angle end-stops, make water ingress much less likely. Subsills can also serve as a base for the framing and can make installation easier where the structure may be uneven or out of tolerance, according to one supplier.</p><p class="p1">The jury is still out on how much transparency is ideal with modern façades. While some experts say they favor less glass to control heat gain, others say they use more glass, or higher window-wall ratios (WWRs), to boost natural lighting and indoor-outdoor connectivity.</p><p class="p1">“Façades are embracing more glass and less stucco,” says Hande Obuz, Principal and Senior Architect based in Stantec’s Miami office. Aside from glass curtain walls, she says, “We are using 2.5-inch-thick limestone cladding on a twin 29-story luxury condo tower, with a smattering of composite aluminum panels and column-beam covers of glass fiber-reinforced concrete,” or GFRC.</p><p class="p1">Obuz adds that specifications for fenestration and installation methods are improving recently, mostly because designers are required by code to specify product-approved hurricane-resistant tested assemblies. “These must meet the structural engineer’s established cladding design pressures and glass that provide minimum SHGC—solar heat-gain coefficient—and U-value established by overall building energy calculations,” she explains, noting that the U-values provide a measure of the insulating characteristics of façade assembly or insulating glass unit (IGU)—essentially, how much heat flow or heat loss occurs through the enclosure due to the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. “If drawings and specs for windows and doors need to be corrected during the construction administration phase, it typically entails added cost, possibly time delays, and even design changes.”</p><p class="p1">In some cases, project teams are seeing larger individual glass panels and IGUs used in ways to enhance drama and building performance, says Alexander Zilberman, AIA, NCARB, Founder and Principal of AZA, a firm specializing in high-end multifamily and luxury retail. “This is especially true for storefronts and primary façades in mixed-use residential buildings,” he explains. “For Aston Martin’s new Q New York, at the base of 450 Park Avenue in New York City, we worked to create a unique window installation of epic proportion, dubbed the Champagne Frame, which was a retrofit IGU measuring 22x11 feet—a size we learned is one of the largest glass openings installed in that city.” Inside, passersby see the Aston Martin display vehicle models set amid walnut floors, millwork, and a bespoke chandelier of 3,000 hand-blown, mirror-coated glass globes.</p><p class="p1">At every price level, however, other building teams are instead seeking budget choices with better pricing. BSB Design’s Mulcrone explains that color costs are still prohibitive for many brands, and that many design teams are hoping that color will expand to make the market more competitive. “We’d also love to see some innovation in window mounting flanges that would allow us to create some depth with window design,” he adds. “Adjusting the flange even an inch or two so the window is no longer flush with the façade would create a recessed look that really enhances the elevation’s appearance and function.”</p><h2 class="p1">Another Look at EIFS for multifamily construction</h2><p class="p1">On the topic of opaque façades, building teams also see different tendencies. For example while Obuz and others see less stucco being used, for example, in Miami and other southeastern U.S. markets, Gensler’s Howell sees a revival of wet-applied exteriors. “Exterior insulation and finish systems, EIFS products, seem to be making a comeback in a number of markets,” he says. “With the drainage cavity behind the façade’s finish, these systems allow water that gets behind EIFS or stucco to escape rather than build up.”</p><p class="p1">For Cooper Carry’s multifamily studio, EIFS has been employed for a number of projects, including The Foundry. “We used a precast skin solution and it cut two or three months off the install time,” according to the firm. “Anything prefabricated—for example, wall panels that are factory made with cold-formed steel and a panelized or EIFS finish—seems to pay off well in terms of installation and construction schedules.”</p><p class="p1">For their variety of finish and material options, WDG’s Stadler likes open-joint rainscreen façade panels. “These are relatively lightweight and require less maintenance,” he explains. “These panel materials range from high-density fiber cement and high-pressure, exterior grade laminates to synthetic stone and large-format porcelain.”</p><p class="p1">Building teams should focus on trying to maintain a simple, straightforward drainage plane that allows gravity to draw moisture out of the wall, says Rob Muller, Senior Design Leader and Managing Partner with the firm BKV. “Using ventilated rainscreen technology, we establish a straight wall with a fluid-applied air and water barrier and then use varying material depths and sub-girt systems to create an enclosure with a flat drainage plane and a façade with depth and texture.”</p><p class="p1">Variety is essential in cladding choices, adds BKV’s Muller, noting that his architect teams are employing “a broad range in color, texture, and cost: masonry, corrugated metal, composite metal, fiber cement, stone, simulated stone,” he says. “There’s a strong trend for durable materials with the look of natural wood,” which is seen in their project Waterford Bay in St. Paul, Minn.</p><p class="p1">“Façades and cladding in general are a balance between three key factors,” says Muller: “Creating a high-quality interior environment with abundant natural light, responding to expectations and zoning requirements of city planning officials—typically looking for higher-quality materials and a breakdown of the building massing—and finding economical materials and methods to allow projects to pencil.” He adds that the architect’s task is to find creative ways to integrate these disparate goals into a unified façade composition, pointing to the firm’s design for The Fynn in Chicago as an example.</p><h2 class="p1">Infill, Low-Rise, and Indoor-Outdoor design for multifamily housing </h2><p class="p1">To maximize project value and take advantage of current market conditions, say multifamily experts, more teams are building on hemmed in lots or varying project heights and areas.</p><p class="p1">“Urban infill projects can relate contextually to their surroundings, such as with a podium of brick or masonry and a hybrid window-wall system and slab covers above,” says Norr’s Sorich, who recently wrote a white paper on densification and urban regeneration. “These are easier to build on upper stories, requiring only one subcontractor, working from the interior.”</p><figure role="group"><img alt="Strata Wynwood, an eight-story, mixed-use structure" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="857f8dcd-cf9a-4e2e-ab47-37cbabf0efa6" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/5A.%20Strata%20exterior.jpeg" width="2400" height="1550" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Strata Wynwood, an eight-story, mixed-use structure, added 257 studio and one- to three-bedroom rentals (509 to 1,288 sf), 2,500 sf of artist studios, and three floors of office space to Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Stantec (architect, SE, landscape architect) helmed the project team of Unison Group (interiors), Feller Engineering (MEP/FP), and KAST Construction (GC). Photo: Seamus Payne</figcaption></figure><p class="p1">Low-rise is also trending, says HKS’s Briseno. “Low-rise projects are currently the only product that is easily penciling for many of our clients’ proformas due to volatility in costs and financing,” he explains. “Since much of our work is based on very large urban-scaled master plans, we’ve been utilizing creative phasing plans to implement placemaking elements and low-rise product in the initial offering, focusing on speed to market and placemaking, a marketing strategy that will help entice retail and tenant interest in later phases. We then position high-rise and commercial projects in a later phase, when either construction prices cool, or lease rates increase.”</p><p class="p1">Briseno and others also note that the balance of amenities and unit size has been shifting. While average unit sizes have been decreasing over the past several years while amenity space allocation increased, the trend has reversed due to volatility in the construction and financing industries, placing heavier constraints on budgets. According to HKS, this could risk the marketability of projects in the future unless a creative phasing strategy is employed.”</p><p class="p1">While amenity space shrinks, projects offering indoor-outdoor connectivity are on the rise, say many building teams. “We’re taking advantage of courtyard spaces to create a great exterior environment and a great view for inward-facing units,” says BKV’s Muller. “Introducing nooks throughout the building to use as work areas outside of the unit.”</p><p class="p1">Kelly Farrell, who Co-leads the global practice for Gensler, explains that connecting with the outdoors is a basic human need, and successful building teams are making the most of this natural amenity. “The design should give residents a place for their whole selves to retreat, not just outdoor spaces for entertaining,” she says, pointing to restorative gardens and other designed spaces where people can linger—longer—outside. “What really works best is creating a variety of spaces, not just a big pool and deck, but a varied outdoor program with places to sit down and read a book, small entertaining spaces, and parklike areas for families and other people.”</p><p class="p1">These outdoor spaces need to function 24 hours of the day, adds Gensler’s Farrell, and offer ways to connect to the comfort of other people or to just spend some time alone. “We need to enjoy these spaces and not feel crowded,” she says, adding that the health benefits are significant: “Fresh air does amazing things for our minds and bodies, and outdoor time and daylight are natural ways to help us get more sleep, which lowers our cortisol levels and allow us to relax.”</p><p class="p1">According to Cooper Carry, these benefits are leading more multifamily developers to go beyond a traditional fitness center. Instead they are leaning toward including planned spaces for yoga studios or flex rooms with indoor and outdoor connection, spa-like areas with wet and dry saunas, greenhouse spaces, community gardens, and teaching kitchens connected to outdoor dining areas, says the firm. Others are planning rooftop spaces with views, and unique amenities like bowling alleys as well as a plethora of electric vehicle chargers. “Co-working areas are large spaces, separate from the clubroom, with multiple different types of working stations from lounge seating areas to soundproof podcast and phone rooms to full size, technologically equipped conference rooms,” say the architects.</p><p class="p1">For exterior spaces on roof areas, frequent renovations are typical. Says WDG’s Stadler: “Rooftop amenities are also being upgraded in aging buildings, to include more refined finishes such as porcelain paver systems, premium oversized parasols, cabanas, outdoor kitchens, firepits, infinity-edge swimming pool water features, and enhanced speaker and lighting systems.”</p><p class="p1">Teams should program and design indoor-outdoor amenities with care, cautions Stantec’s Obuz. “Developers ask for the outdoor spaces as a selling point, but they are not appropriate for all climates. For example, in Miami, summers are long and uncomfortably hot and humid outside, says Obuz. “Multiple tenants entering and exiting the outdoor space can overwhelm the air-conditioning equipment, waste a lot of electricity, cause condensation on the diffuser grilles, and take hours to cool the space back to comfort level.</p><p class="p1">“Not to mention allowing mosquitos, flies, and cockroaches to enter,” adds Obuz.</p></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/exterior" hreflang="en">Exterior</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/design-trends" hreflang="en">Design Trends</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/eifs" hreflang="en">EIFS</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/claddingwall-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding/Wall systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope-0" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/windowswindow-hardware" hreflang="en">Windows/Window hardware</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamilypro/mfpro-course" hreflang="en">MFPRO+ Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/multifamily-housing" hreflang="en">Multifamily Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/affordable-housing" hreflang="en">Affordable Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/senior-living-design" hreflang="en">Senior Living Design</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/student-housing" hreflang="en">Student Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/apartments" hreflang="en">Apartments</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/luxury-residential" hreflang="en">Luxury Residential</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/condominiums" hreflang="en">Condominiums</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/facility-managers" hreflang="en">Facility Managers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/building-owner" hreflang="en">Building Owners</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cladding-and-facade-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding and Facade Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/products-and-materials/glass-and-glazing" hreflang="en">Glass and Glazing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/windows-and-doors" hreflang="en">Windows and Doors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sustainability" hreflang="en">Sustainability</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamilypro/mfpro-course" hreflang="en">MFPRO+ Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Mon, 30 Oct 2023 20:05:31 +0000 dbarista 51626 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Fire safety considerations for cantilevered buildings [AIA course] https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/fire-safety-considerations-cantilevered-buildings-aia-course <span>Fire safety considerations for cantilevered buildings [AIA course]</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>José R. Rivera, PE, Associate Principal, Director of Plumbing Fire Protection, Lilker, an IMEG company</p></div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/12/2023 - 14:08</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2023-07/Fire%20safety%20considerations%20for%20cantilevered%20buildings%2C%20One%20Central%20Park%2C%20Lilker.jpg" width="1800" height="2400" alt="Fire safety considerations for cantilevered buildings, One Central Park, Lilker" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Bold cantilevered designs are prevalent today, as developers and architects strive to maximize space, views, and natural light in buildings. Cantilevered structures, however, present a host of challenges for building teams.</p></div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Cantilevered buildings seem to be everywhere in New York City these days, as developers and architects strive to maximize space, views, and natural light in residential developments. With a seemingly insatiable demand for housing stock in a city that has limited availability and height restrictions in many areas, cantilevers have become a go-to solution and a design element in their own right. <a href="https://centralparktower.com/" target="_blank">Central Park Tower</a>, New York City’s tallest residential building and home to Nordstrom’s flagship Manhattan department store, famously incorporated the concept on the 13th floor to enhance views of the park. </p><p>Bold cantilevered designs are not without challenges though. In addition to basic structural challenges, fire protection and life safety considerations need to be addressed from the perspective of the cantilevered building, as well as from the adjacent building. Both properties are at risk from a fire initiated in either building, which can spread via conduction in solid materials, convection through circulating fluids such as air, or thermal radiation. To maximize life safety and fire protection, New York City mandates stringent standards when  considering a cantilevered construction option. </p><p>The <a href="https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/newyorkcity/latest/NYCadmin/0-0-0-73538" target="_blank">2014 New York City Building Code Section BC 705.12</a> requires a formal, peer-reviewed fire engineering analysis acceptable to the Commissioner of Buildings, where a portion of a new building is cantilevered over an adjacent building or a tax lot by a horizontal distance greater than one foot. A separate approval from the fire department is also required regarding access to the buildings and roofs in accordance with the New York City Fire Code. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) filing procedure was thoroughly clarified in the technical document, <a href="https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/bldgs_bulletins/bb_2017-014.pdf" target="_blank">Buildings Bulletin 2017-014 dated October 25, 2017</a>. </p><h2>Fire engineering analysis for cantilevered buildings </h2><p>Detailed plans indicating where the cantilevered portions begin in relation to neighboring properties–as well as fire separation distance–need to be submitted to the DOB. The fire separation distance will be measured perpendicularly from the face of the exterior wall to any neighboring building or tax lot line, whichever is closer. The fire separation distance will be measured individually from all exterior walls cantilevered over a tax lot line. Building code requirements for exterior openings (i.e., windows and doors) and opening protectives near lot lines must also be addressed.</p><p>Written descriptions of the existing buildings below the cantilevered portion, as well as the proposed cantilever building (including detailed information regarding passive and active fire protection systems), are also required. Passive fire protection systems do not require any external power but rely instead on specific construction features and the use of materials, products, and building elements that meet well-defined fire performance requirements, such as fireproofing around structural steel.</p><p>Devices in active fire protection systems require manual, mechanical, or electrical power. For example, a sprinkler system requires sprinklers to open and a water supply at a sufficient flow rate and pressure after activation to be delivered through the system. A smoke control system relies on roof vents that open or a mechanical system to operate when a fire is detected. A detection and alarm system requires electric power to operate. </p><p>Fire engineering analysis must demonstrate that the cantilevered portions and surrounding building elements will withstand the anticipated effects of a “design fire.” A simulation or a model of the anticipated effects of the fire (convection, conduction, and radiation) utilizing generally accepted fire engineering principles needs to be included in the analysis.</p><figure role="group"><img alt="Fire considerations with cantilevered buildings " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="76d9d701-2cc3-433d-9740-7456753d45d9" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1.jpg" width="904" height="730" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Using construction to counter the effects of a nearby fire. Illustration: Lilker</figcaption></figure><h2>Design fire simulation of cantilevered buildings </h2><p>Finite element modeling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer models may be used to simulate the design fire. The design fire is programmed to occur on a 92°F summer day and last a minimum of 30 minutes. The scenario would involve a total “burn-out” of the fuel source where all active fire suppression systems fail to operate in the existing building below the cantilever and the fire department does not respond. The model will assume optimal fire conditions in which the air is flowing freely through broken windows in the existing building facing or located directly below the cantilever.</p><p>The design fire analysis should include the quantity of combustible materials per unit floor area (fuel load density) and the rate in which the fire releases energy (heat release rate, HRR, per unit area) of the existing building. The fuel load density and heat release rate per unit area are based on guidance documents published from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), or another internationally recognized fire protection engineering organization.</p><p>The model should account for the type of materials used for the façade of the cantilevered building and window assembly, such as type of glass, and the exterior wall coverings of the façade. The exterior walls, the glazing assemblies, structural elements, and horizontal assemblies will undergo intense failure analysis. The severity of this design fire will vary whether or not the existing building below has a combustible or noncombustible roof. In the case of a combustible roof, the fuel source is the existing building in its entirety. In the case of a noncombustible roof, the fuel source would be limited to the combustible structures and equipment located on the roof (cooling towers, photovoltaic systems, etc.) or the contents of the floor level below the main roof, whichever is the greater hazard. A minimum safety factor of 20% would be applied to any scenario. </p><figure role="group"><img alt="Fire considerations with cantilevered buildings Lilker Associates" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cc298362-3213-4cc4-b635-ec4ab9c69a5b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2.jpg" width="689" height="703" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Existing building with combustible roof fire scenario. Illustration: Lilker </figcaption></figure><figure role="group"><img alt="Fire considerations with cantilevered buildings Lilker Associates Illustration" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9403eca4-7aa7-4063-9951-9933a73fbffc" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3.jpg" width="832" height="724" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Existing adjacent building with noncombustible roof fire scenarios. Illustration: Lilker </figcaption></figure><p>The submission documents must include a rooftop plan depicting the current conditions of the existing building’s roof to verify the placement of the design fire scenario. The analysis includes detailed plans of the adjacent existing building, elevation drawings, building sections, soffit details of cantilevered portions, and a site plan of the proposed building, as well as the adjacent building below. All rooftop features, such as equipment, bulkheads, openings, and other elements, need to be indicated and all relevant information provided, including the height of such features. Where the controlling fire is not a rooftop fire, the analysis will provide adequate plans to verify the location of the design fire scenario.</p><h2>Results of fire engineering analysis of cantilevered buildings</h2><p>A summary of the results from a nationally recognized and validated CFD fire modeling program or an equivalent calculation methodology indicates if the structure, projecting assemblies, exterior façade, and openings are able to withstand the anticipated effects of the design fire. </p><p>The completed analysis, as well as the passive and active fire protection systems in the proposed and affected existing buildings, will be peer reviewed prior to submission to the DOB. The peer review will be performed by an independent, qualified, registered fire protection engineer to determine compliance with basic engineering principles, the New York City Building Code, and all other applicable laws and rules.</p><p>In addition, the fire engineering analysis needs to include a statement from the design professional indicating that the structure passes the design fire simulation, and is in accordance with the New York City Building Code. </p><p>There is more than meets the eye when it comes to cantilever design. It takes a talented team of architects  as well as structural and fire protection engineers to make it happen.</p><p><strong>About the Author</strong> <br /><a href="https://lilker.com/jose-rivera/" target="_blank">Jose Rivera, PE, FPE, LEED AP</a>, is an Associate Principal and Director of Plumbing and Fire Protection with Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers. He brings over twenty years of experience in the design of plumbing and fire protection systems for commercial, institutional, residential and transportation facilities. He is well versed in the evaluation of projects for constructability and cost—from design through construction management—including documents and contractor proposal review, site visits and detailed cost estimating.  As an engineer, Jose advocates having fire protection systems based on the building and functions within.  For Jose, a career plumbing and fire protection engineer, the ability to make buildings safer is a point of pride. Jose has worked extensively on many high profile projects in the New York metropolitan area. Jose holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the New York Institute of Technology. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of New York, and is a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and National Fire Protection Association.</p></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/exterior" hreflang="en">Exterior</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/structural" hreflang="en">Structural</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/design-trends" hreflang="en">Design Trends</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-technology" hreflang="en">Building Technology</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/firelife-safetysecurity" hreflang="en">Fire/Life 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12 Jul 2023 19:08:59 +0000 dbarista 51272 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com 4 steps to a better building enclosure https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/4-steps-better-building-enclosure <span>4 steps to a better building enclosure</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Russell M. Sanders, AIA, and Kelsey R. Greenleaf, Assoc. AIA, Hoffmann Architects + Engineers</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/16/2023 - 14:41</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2023-04/Hoffmann12.jpg" width="2500" height="3333" alt="More than the sum of its parts, the building enclosure is a collection of integrated assemblies that work in concert to shield the interior from the elements." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This AIA course covers the four essential steps to maintaining a healthy building enclosure: evaluating repair demands, setting rehabilitation priorities, budgeting, and planning for future needs.</p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p style="line-height:1.3199999999999998; margin-bottom:8px">Dividing the outside environment from the interior, the building enclosure is one of the most important parts of the structure. The enclosure not only defines the building’s aesthetic, but also protects occupants from the elements and facilitates a comfortable, controlled climate. With dozens of components comprising the exterior assemblies, from foundation to cladding to roof, figuring out which concerns to address first can be daunting.</p> <p>As interconnected systems, building enclosure elements work synergistically, which means that superior performance in one assembly helps others function at their peak; conversely, sub-par functionality in any component adversely impacts interdependent systems. Just as a roof leak can migrate and cause mold and decay in wall assemblies, cracked and bowed façades place strain on connections and roofs. Once the building enclosure is compromised, interior spaces suffer, with moisture, heat gain, drafts, noise, and glare vying to make the distinction between inside and outside more permeable than occupants would wish.</p> <p>With data about building conditions in hand, project teams are faced with the challenge of establishing a budget and timeframe for upgrades and repairs. How to know which concerns demand immediate attention, and which can be deferred? Factors such as how long the owner plans to keep the property and which upgrades will be most desirable to building users are important to consider. With the guidance of an architect or engineer with expertise in building enclosure systems, property managers and owners can better determine which repairs are critical to maintain public safety, which are necessary to meet code requirements, and which, if put off, will lead to larger, more costly repairs before long.</p> <h2>Step 1: Evaluate Building Enclosure Repair Demands </h2> <p>While routine maintenance by facility professionals is essential to the proper functioning of the building enclosure, periodic evaluation by a qualified design professional is also a must. The ability to prioritize repair needs depends on accurately cataloging deficiencies, the full extent of which may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Some problems, too, are simply not visible at the surface and require exploratory probes, laboratory analysis, and/or structural calculations to accurately assess the extent of the issue. </p> <h3>Foundation</h3> <p>The foundation is usually composed of cast concrete and rebar, concrete masonry unit (CMU) blocks, or rubble. Impervious membranes provide waterproofing for below-grade substrates and are applied to the positive side (exterior) or negative side (interior).  Drainage composites and sloped grade direct water away from the building. </p> <p>When foundation waterproofing systems fail, evidence of moisture, such as leaks, damp surfaces, discoloration, and corrosion of embedded rebar, indicate the need for repairs. Prolonged moisture exposure can lead to efflorescence and cracks, eventually compromising structural integrity. As capillary action drives moisture up into the exterior wall assembly, it can lead to systemic water damage. </p> <h3>Façade</h3> <p>The building skin can be made up of many different materials, each presenting its own set of common problems. Failures in masonry can be seen as cracks in mortar and masonry units, spalls (where portions of the material face break off), bowing, displacement, efflorescence, vegetative growth, and other unsightly deterioration. For glazed curtain walls, bent mullions, loose gaskets and seals, condensation, and corrosion may evince aging and wear. Other wall systems show problems characteristic of the materials, from hysteresis (bending) in thin marble to oil-canning (dents and bulges) in metal panels. </p> <p>In cavity wall systems, where a veneer is tied to a back-up structural wall, the combination of multiple materials in a single assembly necessitates accommodating for differential movement. A brick veneer will expand over time as the fired clay absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, while the CMU back-up wall to which it is anchored will shrink as the concrete dries. To allow for this natural material movement, expansion joints and relieving angles should be placed at regular intervals along each exterior wall. Failure to do so will result in an insecure wall system that poses a danger to the public. </p> <p>Moisture trapped within façade assemblies is another notorious source of premature deterioration and failure. Unknowingly, many a well-meaning maintenance staffer has sealed over weep holes, deliberately left in cavity wall veneers to allow trapped moisture to drain from within the assembly. Without these openings, water builds up inside the wall, causing deterioration. Continuous air and vapor barriers applied to the back-up structural wall prevent moisture that does accumulate from migrating into the building interior. Signs that such barriers are damaged, missing, or non-continuous include leaks, moisture at window and door openings, condensation, and mold/mildew growth.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Positive-side foundation waterproofing (left) is exterior; negative-side (right) is at the interior. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ef0904a7-4396-42df-9c87-1f1f81f38c30" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4%20steps%20to%20a%20better%20building%20enclosure%2C%20AIA%20course%2C%20Hoffmann%20Architects.png" width="3714" height="1384" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Positive-side foundation waterproofing (left) is exterior; negative-side (right) is at the interior. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects</figcaption></figure><h3>Fenestration</h3> <p>Detection of failures in doors and windows early is key. Moisture spotted after heavy storms should be addressed right away to prevent further damage. Fenestration failures not only admit moisture into the wall assembly and building interior, but also decrease energy efficiency by allowing conditioned air to escape. A common cause of failure is deteriorated sealant surrounding the openings. Another frequently encountered problem is condensation, which may be a sign that the thermal performance of the glazing unit is not sufficient for the conditioned space, or that the glazing seals have failed. </p> <h3>Roofs</h3> <p>Roof failures can happen gradually over time, or they can happen almost instantaneously during a large weather event. If failures are not addressed immediately, these leaks can continue to progress, causing more damage to the roof and building. A leak from one small area can cause extensive damage throughout the roofing system if neglected. The longer the water is allowed to travel beneath the membrane, the more damage is done. Breaches in the membrane, open seams, loose and missing shingles, and failures at penetrations are sometimes straightforward problems that may be repaired or patched. Other issues may be more pervasive, such as a leak that saturates insulation or damages the roof deck, requiring full replacement.</p> <p>To achieve lasting repairs of building enclosure components, root causes must be addressed, and these can often be determined only through professional evaluation. Such a condition investigation is therefore the prerequisite to any program of rehabilitation or repair, and, if an extended period has elapsed since a design professional has conducted the evaluation, building owners and managers would do well to consider re-assessment before investing in a construction project to resolve persistent issues. </p> <h2>Step 2: Set Rehabilitation Priorities</h2> <p>Planning for repairs can feel overwhelming when there seems to be a never-ending to-do list. Establishing criteria to prioritize needed repairs allows project teams to budget ahead of time and prevent unexpected emergencies from quickly depleting available resources. When planning construction work, architects and engineers rely on both professional opinion of critical needs and the long- and short-term goals of the client.</p> <h3>Maintain Safety</h3> <p>When it comes to prioritizing repairs, safety always comes first. Loose stone, spalled concrete, cracked terra cotta, insecure curtain wall systems, failed glazing gaskets, and areas of displaced brick are examples of conditions that should be addressed straightaway by a design professional. To protect the public, provisional securement, such as safety netting and overhead protection, must immediately stabilize hazardous conditions until long-term solutions can be implemented. Once the temporary protection is safely in place, further investigation can seek to identify the cause of the issues. </p> <p>Safety ordinances, such as New York City’s Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), may require design professionals to report observed hazardous conditions and undertake necessary corrective measures within an established timeframe. For example, terra cotta that shows signs of structural cracks or balcony railings that are unstable necessitate immediate reporting to the NYC Department of Buildings in the wake of fatal incidents involving catastrophic failures with these building elements. </p> <p>Another safety concern is mold and organic growth. Water trapped inside a wall cavity creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew to thrive. Although often undetected by building occupants, mold can cause serious health problems if not safely abated. </p> <h3>Protect Vulnerable Spaces and High-Value Objects</h3> <p>Once life-safety concerns have been addressed, the next area of priority is typically those areas housing valuable or sensitive objects, or those spaces that are themselves of intrinsic artistic or cultural importance. For instance, leaks that might compromise a data center or rare-book library take precedence over those in a staff lounge or closet. Likewise, areas having valuable finishes or art, such as the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol or the historic Art Deco lobby of One Wall Street in Manhattan, would take priority over less significant spaces, and immovable artwork, such as frescoes and inlaid stone, affects construction sequencing, as it must remain protected throughout the project.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Substitute materials, like GFRC for terra cotta, offer repair options for tough areas. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c1d2db95-a1d5-453e-9692-8d4ca067f5cb" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Hoffmann08.JPG" width="2500" height="1875" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Substitute materials, like GFRC for terra cotta, offer repair options for tough areas. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers</figcaption></figure><p>Some owners opt to address deterioration in areas accessed by the public first, leaving private spaces for later phases. For example, a leak in an arena that hosts sporting events will take precedence over a leak in the athletic offices, not only because of the risk of damage to an expensive gym floor, but also because games are high-profile – and revenue-producing – events. </p> <h3>Improve Performance</h3> <p>With emissions-reduction legislation such as BERDO 2.0 in Boston or the Climate Mobilization Act in New York, improving the energy efficiency of buildings is no longer just a moral imperative – it may be a legal one. For instance, some cities require new or replacement roof assemblies to incorporate “cool” membranes, vegetation, solar panels, or some combination of these. A reflective roof with added insulation improves the building’s overall efficiency, stabilizes the temperature at upper floors, and reduces the urban heat island effect. Considering energy use and emissions as part of building rehabilitation planning can save heating and cooling dollars, and it anticipates minimum performance standards that are becoming more common across America’s states and cities.</p> <p>Energy isn’t the only metric project teams should consider when prioritizing repairs and upgrades, however. With climate change driving an increase in natural disasters, flooding, extreme heat and cold, and unusual weather patterns, the prudent building manager would do well to consider resilience as a key driver in rehabilitation planning. Foundation waterproofing, roof uplift resistance, window impact tolerance, cladding anchorage, and other measures of a building’s weatherability may prove critical to its ability to recover from extreme weather events. Furthermore, proactively protecting the building from the elements – and documenting these efforts – can prove critical should storm damage necessitate an insurance claim.</p> <p>Beyond the basics of energy performance and resilience, the comfort of users is paramount to the day-to-day functionality of the building. Interior spaces that admit drafts, noise, glare, and heat gain are red flags that the building enclosure is not doing its job: providing a barrier between inside and out. To create an interior environment that is conducive to productive work and good health, building owners and managers may need to prioritize upgrades such as glazing replacement, added insulation, remediation of deteriorated joints and seals, and effective thermal and air/vapor barriers. </p> <h3>Upgrade Aesthetics and User Experience</h3> <p>Prominently visible from a highway in a busy metropolitan area, one 1970s office building had begun to look timeworn, and prospective tenants had taken notice. Empty spaces and lost lease revenue urged the owner to give the property a facelift. By replacing the curtain wall with eye-catching, high-performance glazing and sleek metal trim, the façade replacement not only upgraded energy efficiency and wind resistance but also revamped the building’s image, garnering a drop in vacancy and a project award. </p> <p>Particularly for buildings in high-profile areas, exterior appearance may mean the difference between a profitable property and one that costs more than it earns. For building users, a renewed exterior can mean not only pride of place, but also improved experience – with glazing, cladding, and other building enclosure components that perform as well as they look. </p> <h3>Reduce Future Maintenance Demands</h3> <p>Determining which building enclosure projects should receive top priority may also entail consideration of current and future upkeep. Maintenance staff constantly on call for window and door operability issues may find their time better spent after new hardware and frame repairs restore frustration-free functionality. Design professionals can work with building owners and managers to plan for rehabilitation and replacement based on expected lifespan and projected maintenance requirements. For example, an owner might consider incorporating a snow-melt system for an entry plaza into a planned rehabilitation, an up-front expense that may be offset by the savings in maintenance and premature replacement. </p> <p>Still, rehabilitation strategies must match the short- and long-term goals of the owner. Is the property intended for quick turnaround, or will it be an enduring investment? Decisions such as whether to re-seal a curtain wall or implement a full-scale replacement will be impacted by how the longevity of those options dovetails with the intended ownership period.</p> <h2>Step 3: Budget for Repairs and Upgrades  </h2> <p>In today’s environment, project teams face formidable challenges when trying to maximize the available budget for repairs. While uncertainties related to expenses and scheduling present hurdles, establishing a balance between conditions that require immediate attention and work that can be postponed or phased helps to provide a positive direction while affording the best opportunity for controlling overall costs.</p> <h3>Top Priority: Safety</h3> <p>Public safety and the need to remove imminent danger posed by the physical elements of a building, such as a structurally unstable parapet, have no option for delay. Costs to immediately stabilize a hazardous condition or erect the necessary site protection are a given. Loose slate shingles on aged roofs or cracked and deteriorated terra cotta on older buildings can become dislodged and fall off with little to no warning. Even on newer buildings, faulty components, such as an insecure terrace railing, can pose a danger to an unsuspecting user.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="As maintenance is deferred, cracks and spalls proliferate into emergency hazards. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="be271d34-6ce4-4777-9012-775e42c6a1af" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Hoffmann05.jpg" width="2500" height="3333" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>As maintenance is deferred, cracks and spalls proliferate into emergency hazards. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers</figcaption></figure><h3>All-at-Once or Phased Over Time</h3> <p>Depending on the scale of the project and nature of the repairs or renovation planned, there may be an opportunity to sequence the work in phases. On large projects, though, project teams may realize an overall cost savings by getting everything done at once. Particularly with older buildings, repairs can build on one another as more concealed conditions become exposed. Performing the full program of repairs at one time saves on repeated mobilization and access costs by erecting scaffolding only once at each location. </p> <p>While, ideally, it may be more practical and cost-effective to complete a large project with a single approach, incurring the total cost all upfront may make it harder to get a larger budget approved. Separating the work into phases not only can make funding easier to obtain, but also allows the project team to focus on one priority at a time. However, stretching a project over a longer period may be more disruptive to occupants and can result in a higher overall cost.</p> <h3>Form vs. Function</h3> <p>Aside from critical repairs, owners may desire to change the aesthetics of the building or make code improvements to increase the value of the property. Budgeting design changes for replacement of an existing component is often done with a more planned approach and favorable timeframe. Visual upgrades frequently don’t require the urgency of less noticeable functional repairs. Major capital improvement projects, such as replacing an outdated curtain wall assembly, routinely take longer to fully fund and obtain the required approvals than do operational improvements to existing systems.</p> <h3>New Code Requirements</h3> <p>At times, project teams are faced with the need to make code-compliance improvements either mandated by local jurisdictions or on a more voluntary basis. When preparing a budget for this type of work, design considerations and appropriate options must be explored. In-kind replacement of a particular building element may not be possible. Project teams wishing to go beyond code minimums may not be able to achieve their desired goals because of physical constraints posed by the existing structure or limitations of remaining systems and materials.</p> <p>Modifying a component of an existing building to meet current code standards isn’t always possible without performing additional costly work first. Adding insulation in a reroofing project to meet present code may require raising door thresholds or surrounding parapet counterflashings to enable proper clearances for the taller finished roof surface. Similarly, 60-year-old single-glazed windows with non-thermally-broken aluminum frames cannot, in most cases, be made to meet current code requirements simply by adding storm windows to the exterior or interior. </p> <h2>Step 4: Anticipate Future Needs</h2> <p>Design professionals should provide guidance as to the expected lifespan of a restoration or new assembly. Investing in quality materials with proven durability may cost more up front, but it will likely save money and headaches down the line. Still, nothing lasts forever, so documentation of anticipated longevity and warranty periods is vital for setting up a long-term budget plan. Some materials and assemblies offer 20- or 30-plus-year warranties. It is important to choose wisely. </p> <p>Costly unexpected repairs can pose major financial burdens, so staying on top of maintenance is key. A design professional should conduct periodic reviews of the building to catch problems early before they evolve into disruptive and costly repair projects. For newly restored or replaced components, maintenance staff should have training in appropriate ways to clean, treat, and repair areas based on the materials used. Certain chemical cleaners or abrasive methods can erode surfaces, limiting lifespan. </p> <p>Keeping up with new technologies is important. Product innovations are constantly introduced into the market, and a building can quickly become dated by not incorporating the latest trends. Whether paint with insulating value or concrete pavers derived from fungi, advances in material technology offer exciting possibilities for sustainability and performance. To stay relevant without overspending, building owners and managers should seek the advice of design professionals as to which offerings are worth the money and which may be a passing fad. </p> <hr /><h1>Special considerations for landmark structures</h1> <p><em>Projects involving work to landmark structures or buildings on the National Register of Historic Places require extra care in planning and budgeting.</em></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Even for doors at the New York Stock Exchange that were not original to the building, the proposed replacement designs required a public hearing and Community Board review. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c1021a6c-360d-4a29-90aa-aef0e8d03ed7" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Hoffmann15.JPG" width="2500" height="1717" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Even for doors at the New York Stock Exchange that were not original to the building, the proposed replacement designs required a public hearing and Community Board review. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers </figcaption></figure><p>Knowledgeable professionals familiar with the pertinent requirements and formal review process for the treatment of historic buildings can assist owners in navigating the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) for approvals.</p> <p>Designs for alterations to designated buildings typically must be performed in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, as applicable to the project type and intended materials. With criteria for classification as renovation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction, the Standards presents guidelines of “dos” and “don’ts” for each approach. Practices for the respectful treatment of specific building materials related to each type of project further constrain available repair options.</p> <p>Approval for work to landmark or historic structures must first be obtained from local and/or federal oversight agencies before permitting from the department of buildings for that jurisdiction. Required documentation for the proposed project may include measured drawings, photographs, field records, and written data specifically designed to address historic significance. </p> <p>Although treatment to buildings with historic designations may follow a stringent set of guidelines that doesn’t pertain to newer structures, these older buildings typically are not exempt from current accessibility and life safety codes. The challenge is to meet applicable code requirements while minimally impacting – and preserving – defining features and spaces.</p> <hr /><h1>Make sure to include parking garages in the plan</h1> <p><em>In June 2021, the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida drew the nation’s attention to the perils of deferred maintenance and structural deterioration in garages, particularly those integrated within an occupied building. </em></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Temporary shoring at a deteriorated garage beam. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dfc5ed45-da9f-4e44-9f31-490e5cf289d3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Hoffmann16.JPG" width="2500" height="1875" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Temporary shoring at a deteriorated garage beam. Photo courtesy Hoffmann Architects + Engineers</figcaption></figure><p>Persistent water penetration, corrosion of reinforcing steel, and deficiencies in the original construction combined to cause the sudden and deadly failure of the basement parking levels, precipitating the progressive collapse of tenant floors above.</p> <p>In light of such catastrophic failures, more and more states and municipalities are instituting inspection and repair ordinances for parking structures. New York State enacted periodic parking garage inspection requirements in 2019, and New York City began mandating garage inspections in January 2022. After the Surfside collapse, many building owners voluntarily initiated comprehensive assessments programs of their parking structures. </p> <p>When prioritizing garage repairs, project teams would do well to approach the work with similar thinking as they might take with the building enclosure. Ensuring public safety should always be the main concern. For the remainder of the work, a pragmatic approach would be first stopping further damage and deterioration, and then considering changes to appearance and functionality.</p> <p>Recognizing the physical and functional differences between building enclosures and parking garages is important when considering repair work. By their design, unless enclosed in the basement of a building, parking garages not only face exposure to weather on the exterior, but their open construction leaves them at the mercy of the elements on the interior, too. Vehicular traffic through the structure further imposes loads and wear.</p> <p>With components that tend to be more utilitarian than those of a building enclosure, garages frequently require a less invasive and complicated scope of work when repairs are needed. Parking structures are often constructed primarily of concrete and, with routine maintenance, tend to have greater longevity than building enclosures. As the tragedy at Surfside underscored, however, that upkeep is key, along with oversight to see that construction adheres to specifications.</p> <p><strong>About the Authors</strong><br /><strong>Russell M. Sanders, AIA</strong>, is President of <a href="https://www.hoffarch.com/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Hoffmann Architects + Engineers</a>, a design firm specializing in building exteriors, with offices in New York, New Haven, and Alexandria VA. Working collaboratively with project teams and clients, he oversees the firm’s building enclosure projects, delivering rehabilitation plans that balance cost-effectiveness and performance. Mr. Sanders earned his architecture degree from the Ohio State University, and he is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Association for Preservation Technology (APT), and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He may be reached at <a href="mailto:r.sanders@hoffarch.com">r.sanders@hoffarch.com</a>. </p> <p><strong>Kelsey R. Greenleaf, Assoc. AIA</strong>, is Project Coordinator with Hoffmann Architects + Engineers. She brings enclosure projects from condition investigation to design implementation, with sensitivity to building needs and client priorities. Ms. Greenleaf holds a BS in Architecture from Keene State College, and she is a member of the AIA, Architects Declare, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), NCARB, and the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA).She may be reached at <a href="mailto:k.greenleaf@hoffarch.com">k.greenleaf@hoffarch.com</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/exterior" hreflang="en">Exterior</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/structural" hreflang="en">Structural</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/moisture-solutions" hreflang="en">Moisture Solutions</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/claddingwall-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding/Wall systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope-0" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/roofing-systems" hreflang="en">Roofing systems</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/facility-managers" hreflang="en">Facility Managers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/building-owner" hreflang="en">Building Owners</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/codes-and-standards" hreflang="en">Codes and Standards</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/codes-and-standards/codes" hreflang="en">Codes</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-enclosure-systems" hreflang="en">Building Enclosure Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-enclosures-series" hreflang="en">Building Enclosures Series</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cladding-and-facade-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding and Facade Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/exterior-restoration" hreflang="en">Exterior Restoration</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/glass-and-glazing/fenestration-and-glazing" hreflang="en">Fenestration and Glazing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/products-and-materials/roofing" hreflang="en">Roofing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/reconstruction-renovation" hreflang="en">Reconstruction &amp; Renovation</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-enclosure-systems" hreflang="en">Building Enclosure Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Tue, 16 May 2023 19:41:44 +0000 dbarista 50984 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Metal cladding trends and innovations https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/metal-cladding-trends-and-innovations <span>Metal cladding trends and innovations</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>By C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/15/2023 - 13:34</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2023-03/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%20hood8_courtesyMetalwerks.jpg" width="2400" height="1761" alt="A new life sciences center at 100 Hood Park Drive in Charlestown., Mass., features varied metal cladding systems" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Metal cladding is on a growth trajectory globally. This is reflected in rising demand for rainscreen cladding and architectural metal coatings. This course covers the latest trends and innovations in the metal cladding market. </p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Metal cladding is on a growth trajectory globally. This is reflected in rising demand for rainscreen cladding, which market research firm VMR values currently at over $10 billion worldwide, and expects to see grow to over $16 billion by 2028. Adding to that is robust demand for—and faith in—architectural metal coatings, which are advancing from about $5 billion today to just under $6 billion by 2026, according to analyst Research and Markets. </p> <p>On top of that are recent advances in building science and <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/metalsspecialty-metals" target="_blank">metal cladding</a> manufacture that increase the systems’ attraction, including the use of composite clad metals such as carbon steels bonded to more corrosion-resistant materials like copper and stainless steels, which result in lamellar composites with desirable properties not possible with a single material. Instead of using adhesive or extrusion bonding, these composite metals are made through hot rolling, centrifugal casting, brazing, and weld cladding.</p> <p>Sometimes called “clad metals,” these materials are further advancing the benefits and performance of metal cladding systems, which are proliferating both in types and aesthetics. Some of the more widely used are <a href="https://www.metalconstruction.org/insulated-metal-panels" target="_blank">insulated metal panels (IMPs)</a>, <a href="https://www.metalconstruction.org/metal_composite_material" target="_blank">metal composite materials (MCMs)</a>, and aluminum composites materials (ACMs), as well as single-layer or solid-plate metal panels. Some are used in conjunction with metal building subassemblies or prefabricated, modular systems. In all cases, the options are many and benefits considerable.</p> <p>“Material selections during design and construction are almost always a compromise between aesthetics and the demands of cost, schedule, and durability,” says John Myers, a Preconstruction Executive in the New England Division of <a href="https://www.gilbaneco.com/" target="_blank">Gilbane Building Company</a>. “Metal cladding offers components of each of these criteria, which makes it a good ‘compromise product,’” he emphasizes. The construction company, which has an active development arm, has recently used fire-rated IMP systems for large-scale institutional and commercial projects, including a sleek life-sciences facility on the East Coast utilizing a fire-rated panel enclosure with articulated joints.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023 hood5_courtesyMetalwerks" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="488857ad-2bd0-4b58-9067-1b393e913b0b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%20hood5_courtesyMetalwerks.jpg" width="2400" height="1600" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>A close-up of the life sciences center at 100 Hood Park Drive in Charlestown., Mass. Photo courtesy Metalwerks</figcaption></figure><p>Considered through <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment" target="_blank">lifecycle assessments (LCAs)</a> to evaluate their sustainability and return on investment, project teams immediately see very long-term benefits in using exterior <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/products-and-materials/metals" target="_blank">metals systems</a>, adds architect Victor Body-Lawson, FAIA, NOMA, NCARB, Founding Principal of <a href="https://blarch.com/" target="_blank">Body Lawson Architects</a>. “Consider the history: The Statue of Liberty was built from 1876 to 1886 with metal cladding—solid-plate copper, designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to sit on metal framing by Gustave Eiffel—and a few decades later, the sunburst patterned stainless-steel spire of the Chrysler Building debuted,” says Body-Lawson. “Today, both are wearing exceptionally well. It’s a very powerful statement about the effectiveness of using metal cladding.”</p> <p>Those more costly solid-plate metal claddings gave way to thinner sheet metals and IMPs by the 1960s and 1970s, led by products based on systems developed for demanding aerospace, industrial, and cold-storage applications. Their key benefits reflected those roots: “We often use metal cladding because it is lightweight, durable, and offers many color options. It is very cost effective and sustainable, embodying high recycled content and a continuous, resilient barrier enclosure that promises good ROI,” adds Robert Skolozdra, AIA, LEED AP, a Partner with architecture, art, and advisory firm <a href="https://www.svigals.com/" target="_blank">Svigals + Partners</a>.</p> <p>“I’d emphasize that metal cladding, and specifically aluminum, is very light in weight, and can be coated in an almost infinite array of extremely long-lasting and durable high-performance coating colors and textures,” adds architect Charles Thomson, AIA, LEED AP, an Associate Principal with <a href="https://cetraruddy.com/" target="_blank">CetraRuddy</a>. “And aluminum composites and aluminum IMPs are shown to be cost-effective materials in relation to other metals.”</p> <h2>Metal cladding offers artistic and scientific advantages</h2> <p>Recent project examples include Southern Connecticut State University’s new single-building complex for its <a href="https://go.southernct.edu/hhs-building/" target="_blank">College of Health and Human Services</a>, built by CM Skanska USA and lead contractor Turner and designed by Svigals + Partners with interiors by Little Diversified and MEP engineering by BVH Integrated Services. “For this major new state-of-the-art center, the metal panels fit the design aesthetic of the campus,” says Skolozdra. “We also used them as the basis for our art integration element on the exterior, because it plays off of the university’s historical main gate made of ornamental metal.”</p> <p>The plasticity and malleability of metal as a form-making element also attracted the design and art team. “The aluminum we used allowed flexibility in curving, finishing, and laser cutting,” Skolozdra recalls. “We were able to repeat these decorative metal panels very cost-effectively around the entire façade.” </p> <p><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023 02_RoseHill_byDavidSundberg_courtCetraRuddy2.jpg" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5f7687fd-a64c-4e63-a09b-c9869859d470" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%2002_RoseHill_byDavidSundberg_courtCetraRuddy2.jpg" width="2400" height="3600" loading="lazy" /></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023 03_RoseHill_byDavidSundberg_courtCetraRuddy2" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d971d9e2-9615-46dc-bbe6-aa148fe165cb" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%2003_RoseHill_byDavidSundberg_courtCetraRuddy2.jpg" width="2400" height="3564" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>The Rose Hill residential high-rise in Manhattan employs many uses of metal cladding: perforated panels to obscure mechanical louvers, water jet-cut aluminum plate as an applied texture, and sheet aluminum folded to create a chevron pattern that adds depth to the unitized curtain wall, according to architect CetraRuddy. Courtesy CetraRuddy </figcaption></figure><p>The ornamental metal motif also inspired new informational and wayfinding signage, connecting it to the programs and spaces inside, according to architect Marissa Dionne Mead, AIA, Director of Art Integration with Svigals + Partners.</p> <p>Another iconic commission, the reimagining of a former dairy plant into a life sciences center at <a href="https://hoodpark.com/portfolios/100-hood-park-drive/" target="_blank">100 Hood Park Drive</a> in Charlestown, Mass., took the team led by construction provider Lee Kennedy Co. and architect Symmes Maini McKee Associates on a journey to create an iconic, LEED Gold anchor for the mixed-use tech hub. The complex employs varied metal cladding systems, including a customized perforated aluminum screenwall system for its four-story parking structure, which accommodates about 1,000 vehicles. The manufacturer engineered and fabricated “a visually interesting and functional solution” with solid sheet that minimizes the impact of vehicle headlights at night and allows for constant air flow and ventilation through one façade exposure. </p> <p>Executed by specialty contractor Lymo Construction Co., the cladding employs ¼-inch-thick formed aluminum fins with a painted finish in varying sizes and shapes. A signature element, an internally illuminated spire enclosure above the entrance, is fashioned from custom-perforated aluminum plate. The project team, working for developer Catamount Management, contended that solid aluminum cladding also would offer fire protection benefits. With a melting point of more than 1,200 F—and no plastics, foams, or other synthetic materials known to accelerate combustion—the <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/cladding-and-facade-systems" target="_blank">façade panels</a> are essentially noncombustible.</p> <p>“Each type of panel has a unique application,” says the architect Thomson. “We are using aluminum plate and aluminum composite materials, known as ACM, within unitized curtain walls. They allow large panel sizes with a high degree of flatness.” He adds that there is plenty of flexibility in using plate and composite aluminum materials to set patterns and textures into the panel systems or apply them subsequently. Recent project examples include 77 Commercial, a two-tower development by Clipper Equity now substantially complete in Brooklyn, and their recent mixed-use office tower 412W15 in Manhattan, developed by Rockpoint.</p> <h2>Metal cladding design trends and innovations</h2> <p>Novel design ideas like these are seen frequently with solid metal, IMPs, and other metal systems. Pointing to his work on a noted residential high-rise in Manhattan, called Rose Hill, CetraRuddy’s Thomson describes three key applications: “As seen at its podium, Rose Hill employs many uses of metal cladding: perforated panels to obscure mechanical louvers, water jet-cut aluminum plate as an applied texture, and sheet aluminum folded to create a chevron pattern that adds depth to the unitized curtain wall.” The chevron motif alludes subtly to the Art Deco architecture built in years past by firms associated with the developer, The Rockefeller Group.</p> <p>Such flourishes are seen at varied scales, including in applied finishes with novel colors, texturing, and other details. “The newest applications we’re seeing are built-up-coatings that allow for both a tactile bump as well as the ability to match almost any finish,” says Gilbane’s Meyers. “Companies like Minnesota’s Pure + Freeform have the ability to layer these coatings in a way that allows for a heavier visual while allowing for a lighter product than stone or terracotta. The lighter-weight material is more economical.”</p> <p>To optimize finished aluminum and other metal panels for best performance as cladding, building teams specify products with coatings rigorously tested and rated by the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance’s rating, <a href="https://linetec.com/paint/aama-specifications" target="_blank">American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2605</a>, an exterior-grade standard assuring the longest life in even long-term, high-rise uses. Unlike AAMA’s 2604 and 2603 ratings, AAMA 2605 ensures the best material resistance to ultraviolet (UV) degradation, corrosion, and chemical exposure. Pairing these finishes with an FEVE resin—the acronym stands for the copolymers’ two constituent monomers, fluoroethylene (FE) and a vinyl ether (VE)—further overcomes processing challenges of traditional fluoropolymer resins, which need to be melted or solubilized at high temperatures to create a barrier coating.</p> <p>For an office campus for Meta’s Facebook in Bellevue, Wash., the architect NBBJ and Turner Construction improved on the sprawling, eight-acre campus that expresses connection between work and nature. Originally designed for REI and then sold to Facebook, the newer Spring District building’s unique massing is clad with a custom-corrugated metal system in two finish tones: steel and bronze. The 400,000-sf office complex, designed to meet LEED standards, includes outdoor terraces, walkways, and massive mechanical doors.</p> <p>For other projects, metal cladding is used to detail and enhance façades of other materials, says BLA’s architect Body-Lawson, who specializes in urban affordable communities. “In the last few years, metal systems have become more expensive, and sometimes we see supply chain issues that spiked during the pandemic,” he explains. “So we use them selectively in choice projects, where you have a budget for it, and often as ornamental materials, sunshading devices, and window surrounds.” Body Lawson Associates’ Home Street Residences, a 63-unit building for low-income senior citizens in the Bronx, N.Y., built with construction manager C&amp;S Consulting, employs prominent metal window surrounds and other metal details. The firm’s earlier Erbograph Apartments present rhythmic metal sunshades.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023 01_Facebook-Exterior-Corrugated-Cladding-Washington_byBenjaminBenschneider_PureFreeform" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1dd698ad-0e08-4793-b7dc-bb0c72b11167" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%2001_Facebook-Exterior-Corrugated-Cladding-Washington_byBenjaminBenschneider_PureFreeform.jpg" width="2400" height="1600" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>For an office campus for Meta’s Facebook in Bellevue, Wash., NBBJ and Turner Construction improved on the sprawling, eight-acre campus that expresses connection between work and nature. Originally designed for REI and then sold to Facebook, the newer Spring District building’s unique massing is clad with a custom-corrugated metal system in two finish tones: steel and bronze. Courtesy NBBJ</figcaption></figure><p>Multi-materials façades, such as SCSU’s new health complex and the Peninsula, an affordable mixed-use campus designed by WXY architecture + urban design with Body-Lawson’s firm, offer another route to selectively incorporating metal cladding. The Peninsula, also in the Bronx, employs a high-R-value IMP system along with standing-seam metal cladding, corrugated metal panels, and other folded plate and sheet flourishes, creating a varied palette for the first phase’s residential block and adjacent light-industrial facility with community uses and food businesses. Constructed by Broadway Builders, the innovative development set to expand to 740 affordable residences and other uses, is led by Gilbane’s Development arm, Hudson Companies, and nonprofit MHANY.</p> <p>In an example of combining varied metal panel systems with brick veneer, glass, louvers, and other façade materials, the two-building first phase of the Peninsula in the Bronx provides a case study of how adaptable and diverse metal facades can be.</p> <h2>Adaptive reuse and overcladding with metal panel systems</h2> <p>In other projects, creative and customized metal claddings can reimagine existing buildings for new uses and increased value. In San Francisco, an abandoned parking garage stood glumly in the city’s South of Market (SoMa) district as buildings around it welcomed high-tech companies and other office and retail tenants. Seeing potential value, developer Boston Properties worked with architect and structural engineer firm the Office of Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA and GC Plant Construction to create “a distinctive, eye-catching makeover of an existing concrete structure that would stand out against the well-tailored architectural background of a tower behind it,” says the firm.</p> <p>The transformation is striking. “The building’s second floor is wrapped in a metal screen, a kind of architectural lamé cut from aluminum sheets using CNC machines driven by files created using Grasshopper, a parametric plug-in for the 3-D modeling program Rhino,” says Bloszies. Between the original façade and the overlaid screen are color-changing LED lamps, and a glass cornice element reflects the metal screen pattern and articulates the form’s verticality while also protecting the gap between substrate and screen. In this way, the luminous 25,000-sf box makes an outsize visual impact.</p> <p>This kind of approach, hanging impactful yet light metal skins over obsolete original enclosures, has taken off in the past decades. Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Pavilion in Montgomery, Ala., employs a solid-metal panel element to transform “a windowless tilt-up concrete warehouse into an inspirational space where visitors reflect on, and engage with, an often-overlooked history,” according to the architect and designer William Blackstock Architects. </p> <p>For yet another constituency, the School Construction Authority (SCA) of New York and architect Albert Aronov, AIA, a Principal and K-12 sector leader with RKTB Architects, are using overcladding with metal panel systems for valuable applications in aging elementary schools with masonry enclosures. “Using metal panels, we add a performative layer to an existing building exterior to their older enclosures of masonry, concrete, brick, and other façade materials,” says Aronov. Improving aesthetics as well as adding insulation R-value and weather barriers, these projects improve building energy performance. Some jurisdictions such as Toronto and New York have new ordinances that serve as incentives for adding more insulation while forgiving added floor area ratio, or FAR.</p> <p>Dating to 1907, Public School (P.S.) 88 in Queens, N.Y., required a means for improving the energy performance of its enclosure while dealing with deteriorating architectural details. Worse, prior work had removed original parapets, cornices, and other neoclassical flourishes. Addressing severe moisture damage to academic spaces with mold and other moisture-related health hazards, the project team conceived a façade overcladding consisting of an exterior parge coat and moisture barrier, followed by a drainage mat and new brickface to match the original. P.S. 88’s masonry was strong enough to support the addition, says Aronov, and the overclad would effectively stabilize the school building and extend its service life. </p> <p><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023 03_BLA_HomeSt_BY_ErikRank_courestyBodyLwson" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e22f8c3a-cbdb-4011-a0ee-8da5ea61a973" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%2003_BLA_HomeSt_BY_ErikRank_courestyBodyLwson.jpg" width="2400" height="1602" loading="lazy" /></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Metal cladding trends and innovations AIA course BDCuniversity February 2023" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="18ad372b-b039-4e3f-8efb-bd7f00cfbadc" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Metal%20cladding%20trends%20and%20innovations%20AIA%20course%20BDCuniversity%20February%202023%2006_BLA_HomeSt_BY_ErikRank_courestyBodyLwson_9679.jpg" width="2400" height="1602" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Home Street Residences, a 63-unit building designed by Body Lawson Associates for low-income senior citizens in the Bronx, N.Y., employs prominent metal window surrounds and other metal details. Courtesy Body Lawson Associates </figcaption></figure><p>For metal overcladding, the opportunity arises for a total transformation. Examples include the Kensington Market Lofts in Toronto, by ERA Architects and the developer Context and contractor Historic Restoration Inc., that reimagined a former school building clad in glazed yellow terra-cotta blocks that opened in 1952 attached to an older red-brick school building dating from 1923. Following an early 1990s renovation to create condominium lofts, the owners of Kensington Market Lofts saw an opportunity to revitalize the complex’s image in multiple phases to remediate water infiltration at the terracotta blocks and steel structure below. Developing an overcladding strategy, ERA designed a metal panel rainscreen system in varied hues in concert with a prominent Toronto artist, An Te Liu. The multicolored aesthetics reflects the neighborhood’s historic diversity, says the project team, with colors in the final pattern selected through an analysis of the percentage of colors present in the world’s national flags.</p> <p>Hanging IMPs on new outer subframes or furring, according to the Metal Construction Association, the overcladding approaches work well over varied substrates including CMU, cast concrete, and brick veneer, and provide an effective barrier and continuous insulation (CI) across entire enclosures. “In this way, overcladding is similar to creating new rainscreens,” says Aronov, who completed other reconstruction projects including P.S. 73 in Brooklyn as he has led his firm’s education studio since 2004. “It also allows schools and other buildings to update their architectural image even in cases where load-bearing concrete and masonry walls complicate retrofits, requiring expensive reinforcing of structure and additions of columns and beams or underpinning foundations if heavier enclosure improvements are employed.”</p> <p>In addition to increasing thermal performance, properly detailed overcladding provides an air barrier and water barrier and improves fire and smoke containment to enhance building resilience. The approach also allows for existing buildings to be largely occupied and accessible during construction, limiting disturbance to occupants and tenant operations—in short, ideal for school improvements. Even better, overcladding can be accomplished at modest costs and with fairly short design and construction schedules.</p> <p>Reinforcing the benefits of IMPs and ACMs as rainscreens or as barrier wall systems, Gilbane’s Myers and CetraRuddy’s Thomson point to their superior R-values. “We chose to clad the exposed concrete shear wall of the new high-rise, Rose Hill, with a 6-inch-deep insulated metal panel,” says Thomson. “Vertical aluminum profiles were applied to the face of the panels in order to blend this more off-the-shelf system with our bespoke unitized curtain wall façade.”</p> <h2>The next space race</h2> <p>Metal has a notoriously high thermal conductivity coefficient as compared to composite or other natural materials, adds Myers. “So much of what envelope designers and building scientists spend their time on is counteracting the inferior thermal performance of metal within the wall assembly before it hits the weather barrier and causes moisture to condense on the wrong side of the wall,” he explains. “What metal systems are very good at is keeping moisture out of buildings, especially when used in those rainscreen applications.” For this reason, says the seasoned construction executive, metal products are best used as a component of assemblies.</p> <p>While seminal applications of metal claddings—like the Statue of Liberty and Chrysler Building—have long influenced the trust in these systems, today’s motivations also look to the future. Like the early space programs influencing insulated metal composites, today’s new space race is paying dividends for better buildings.</p> <p>“Look at SpaceX, and the metal systems being used for the next generation of spacecraft,” says the architect Body-Lawson. “These are really pushing the outside of the envelope: There are materials that don’t require welding, or that can deal with various temperature differentials, from very hot to very cold. Eventually this R&amp;D will end up in the architectural world, though they are likely very expensive now.” More mainstream applications include the Tesla Cybertruck, which will be built of 300 series stainless-steel alloy with just one color throughout—and billed as “corrosion resistant, strong and affordable.”</p> <p>Adds Body-Lawson, “Eventually these will end up in buildings, when they become cost-effective enough.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-lu" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/exterior" hreflang="en">Exterior</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-lu" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/claddingwall-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding/Wall systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/metalsspecialty-metals" hreflang="en">Metals/Specialty metals</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/education-facility" hreflang="en">Education Facilities</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-types/university-buildings" hreflang="en">University Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-types/office-building-design" hreflang="en">Office Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/building-owner" hreflang="en">Building Owners</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cladding-and-facade-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding and Facade Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/products-and-materials/metals" hreflang="en">Metals</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/resiliency" hreflang="en">Resiliency</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cladding-and-facade-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding and Facade Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Wed, 15 Mar 2023 18:34:25 +0000 dbarista 50786 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Flood protection: What building owners need to know to protect their properties https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/flood-protection-what-building-owners-need-know-protect-their-properties <span>Flood protection: What building owners need to know to protect their properties</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Doug Coenen, PE, and Ray Drexler, PE, Walter P Moore</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 12/14/2022 - 15:07</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2022-12/1.%20OPENER%20IMAGE%20P1010010.JPG" width="2000" height="1497" alt="Photo courtesy Walter P Moore" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This course examines numerous flood protection approaches and building owner needs before delving into the flood protection process. </p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Historically, flooding is one of the costliest natural disasters in the United States on an annual basis. Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) attempt to address area-wide flood risks retroactively and may not reflect increased rainfall intensities or localized street flooding that now occur more frequently.</p> <p>Proactive owners/operators should understand flood risks from both flood frequency and flood water elevation perspectives. Local flooding in the parking lot cannot be compared to the deluge from a hurricane flooding your building, but the parking lot flooding could still be disruptive. For example, regular high-intensity rain events that enter a building or garage can be disruptive as well as costly. Whether the impacts are frequent or infrequent, flooding can have significant impacts due to lost revenue and operations, costs of repairs, and loss of patronage.</p> <p>This begs: When can a reasonable and proactive investment in flood protection significantly reduce flood recovery costs?</p> <p>This course examines numerous flood protection approaches and owner needs before delving into the flood protection process. Determining the flood resilience of a property can provide a good understanding of risk associated costs.</p> <h2>WHAT IS RESILIENCE? </h2> <p>Using the word <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/resiliency" target="_blank">resilience</a> as the basis of this discussion signifies that the ability of a property to absorb flood damages can play a significant part in determining how best to approach flood mitigation. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines resilience as the “ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.”</p> <p>Taking that into consideration, a key question is whether or not the cost of recovery is less impactful than the cost of the investment to protect against a potential flood. The costs are not only the cost of installation, but the cost of maintenance, the cost of inconvenience of the system, and the ability to implement the system when needed.</p> <h2>FLOOD PROTECTION</h2> <p>Flood protection is intended to reduce the risk for loss of life and property by lessening the impact of flood disasters, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Effective flood protection requires understanding the broad and localized watershed issues and associated risks that impact a property, and an understanding of the community wide protection systems related to the specific property.</p> <p>Flood protection design requires specialized skills: a small mistake can have disastrous consequences. The design needs to be well thought out to address the various features that the design must incorporate, consider the requirements for implementation, and detail what is required to keep the system operational and maintained.</p> <p>As you would expect, the best design, built perfectly, will be useless if not properly deployed, and a well deployed system that does not consider all the points of exposure can negate the investment on protection.</p> <p>Proper flood protection design requires:</p> <ul><li>Specialized skills</li> <li>Attention to detail</li> <li>Consideration of implementation, operations, and maintenance</li> <li>Easy deployment</li> <li>Covering all points of exposure.<br />  </li> </ul><figure role="group"><img alt="Cost of floods from damage " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6960d98a-0364-4c15-a2b0-774f8e73e33b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2%20PLEASE%20USE%20ON%20SECOND%20PAGE%20wpm_flood_protection_final%2010.jpg" width="2000" height="875" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Flooding is one of the costliest natural disasters in the U.S. on an annual basis.</figcaption></figure><h2><br /> FLOOD PROTECTION APPROACHES</h2> <p>Beginning with the end in mind, the owner should be educated on the potential flood risk and the associated applicable flood protection approaches so they can make an informed decision on what is best for their asset. Once the risk is determined to warrant investment on protection, there are two major approaches to consider, wet and dry flood protection. Furthermore, dry flood protection can be broken down into active versus passive methods.</p> <p>Consideration of what triggers implementation of an active system is also important. A well documented implementation protocol that is reviewed annually can be just as important as the system itself. The use of early warning systems that are sometimes available to the community can be used as part of this process. A site specific system can be developed at a scale that is applicable to the flood protection system in place if a community based system is not available (see <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/course/flood-protection-what-building-owners-need-know-protect-their-properties#EarlyWarning">Appendix: Early Warning Flood Forecasting</a> below for additional information).</p> <h2>WET VERSUS DRY FLOOD PROOFING SYSTEMS</h2> <p><a href="https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-08/fema_551.pdf" target="_blank">FEMA Manual 551, “Selecting Appropriate Mitigation Measures for Floodprone Structures,”</a> defines wet floodproofing as: “Permanent or contingent measures applied to a structure and/or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding by allowing floodwaters to enter the structure.”</p> <p>In a wet flood proofing system, the structure and contents are designed to get wet by floodwaters.</p> <p>This is typically less costly than dry floodproofing because the internal and external hydrostatic pressures tend to equalize, lessening the loads on the structural elements such as walls, floors, and columns. The architect and engineers design the structure with intent to flood and, after a brief cleanup, return to normal operations. Where this method is considered, it is important to understand the code and insurance implications and the impact to operations. The materials used should be water resistant and electrical and mechanical systems must be isolated and protected.</p> <p>The cost of cleanup should be part of the consideration for using this method. The disadvantages to this approach are potential chemical/ sewage contamination cleanup issues and structural damage that can occur if unbalanced loads occur with floodwater inflow or removal, high velocity waterflow, or wave action. Additionally, MEP damages can occur if the systems are not designed for unattended wetting and drying cycles—for example, biological growth in ducts. Isolation of the flooded areas from the rest of the building need to be considered.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Google Maps Overhead" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8b7c5596-58b5-47a6-8668-b9e2148b9d02" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3.%20Google%20Maps%20Overhead.png" width="2000" height="1294" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>The Early Warning Flood Forecasting System reviews real-time rain forecasts from the National Weather Service to provide early warning of approaching storms. The system can be a simple weather alert tied to the NWS alerts or a more complex dynamic model that starts processing the forecast to predict the potential of flooding. Courtesy Walter P Moore</figcaption></figure><p>FEMA Manual 551 defines dry floodproofing as: “Measures that eliminate or reduce potential flood damage by keeping floodwaters out of the structure.”</p> <p>Dry floodproofing is accomplished by either making the structure watertight below its design flood protection elevation, or by building an exterior protective barrier and accommodating rainfall that falls behind the barrier. Dry floodproofing is the more common flood protection application.</p> <h2>ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE FLOOD PROTECTION MEASURES</h2> <p>Dry floodproofing can be either an active system, meaning human interaction is required to activate or deploy the system, or a passive system, meaning no human interaction is required to activate or deploy the system. All floodproofing designs will have common measures, whether they are active or passive systems. What makes them active typically is that there is some portion of the system such as a flood door or other operable barrier element that requires someone to secure it.</p> <p>When a structure can be adequately strengthened to resist the design flood loads, the work can be limited to the existing building footprint and additional impacts to the site may not be required. However, if the structure cannot be adequately strengthened, protection may take the form of an exterior barrier. The exterior barrier requires a way to drain behind the barrier and floodplain mitigation may be necessary to offset lost floodplain storage. The exterior barrier could have a significant impact on the site.</p> <p>An example of an active system is a system that uses a manually activated flood gate. Gates, doors, vent covers, flood logs, flood panels, and sandbags are some of the active measures typically employed. Any system with elements that have to be activated to seal breaches falls into the active protection category regardless of other passive components. A passive system is one that self-deploys every time it is needed or one that is permanently deployed such as a wall or berm.</p> <hr /><p><strong>RELATED COURSE: <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/course/7-game-changing-trends-structural-engineering" target="_blank">7 game-changing trends in structural engineering</a></strong></p> <hr /><p>These are typically elements that float up into place as the water rises or are permanent barriers without moving parts that prohibit water intrusion. Mechanical closing systems are available, but are discouraged since the protocol to activate remotely does not typically allow for addressing issues at the enclosure location which is a critical failure in the system. The costs associated with a passive system can be comparable to an active system that requires human activity for deployment, but some of the passive system measures can have consequences that need to be considered and may not work in all situations.</p> <p>A float up gate is an example of a passive system. The gate is designed so that rising flood water lifts the gate regardless of human interaction. This is the inherent advantage of a passive system—the rising water deploys the system, regardless of the time or who is at the facility, provided it has been properly maintained. These systems can be operated manually as well to take away the potential of an issue at the time of the flood, so they can be managed as active systems, but have the passive action as a backup.</p> <h2>FEASIBILITY STUDY FRAMES SCOPE OPTIONS</h2> <p>Proactive owners address flood risks by assembling a cohesive team that understands the specific flooding concerns of the facility to be protected to deliver a well thought out and properly executed project. The initial phase should be a feasibility study or scoping to set the project parameters. The feasibility study is designed to identify the points of exposure to the facility, determine the optimum protection system that can address all points of exposure, and work through the issues associated with the system including code requirements, agency interface requirements, anticipated costs, impacts to operations, and project schedule. Based on the feasibility study, the decision can be made to proceed with the design phase.</p> <h2>FLOOD PROTECTION PROCESS</h2> <p>The design phase starts with further development of the concept from the feasibility study. The feasibility study identifies relevant inputs such as design flood protection elevation and relevant constraints such as property line setbacks, wetlands, architectural requirements, accessibility, etc., in order to generate potential solutions. After proof of concept, the design phases are schematic design, design development, and construction documents. Throughout this process the budget is tracked and the design elements are vetted with the operations of the facility.</p> <p>Once the project is sufficiently defined, an early set of drawings can be developed for the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to review. The construction documents, typically drawings and specifications, should address comments and concerns from the AHJ, local flood control district, FEMA, and others that may have a vested interest in the project. The next step is bidding, followed by construction, which should include system commissioning, testing, and training on how to operate and maintain the system. The final step is regular maintenance and exercising of the protection system(s). Below is a brief breakout of what each step should include:</p> <h2>1. SCOPING</h2> <p>Choosing the right team is especially important in defining, planning solutions, developing the design, and constructing flood protection/mitigation projects. Because of the different facets of flood protection projects, a strong understanding of potential funding mechanisms, insurance impacts, flood risk... the list goes on and on and each item is important. Choose wisely and make sure that all roles are covered.</p> <p>After selecting the team members, definition of their roles (prime, support, etc.), the establishment of project communication/direction procedures occur. The first step in scoping is deciding on team member responsibilities and selecting a team leader (see <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/course/flood-protection-what-building-owners-need-know-protect-their-properties#Teaming">Appendix: Teaming</a> below for additional information). The next step in the scoping process is listening: owner needs, wants, desires, limitations, operational/logistical freedoms, and/or constraints, financial status (non-profit, public, private), etc.; AHJ as well as FEMA and/or state Department of Emergency Management (DEM) expectations, requirements, procedures, prohibitions, etc.; individual design team member’s experience, strengths, weaknesses, creativity, etc.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Flood protection Above-grade building penetrations must be identified and protected." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a11b167b-fa8e-4414-97ee-114649242a03" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4A%20IMG_2085.JPG" width="2000" height="2667" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Top: Vulnerability research is a requirement for proper flood protection. Below: Above-grade building penetrations must be identified and protected. Courtesy Walter P Moore</figcaption></figure><p><img alt="4B Pipe Fit to Building.jpg" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1b4dba2c-9e98-4fa1-af23-70ca6683ab13" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4B%20Pipe%20Fit%20to%20Building.jpg" width="2000" height="2667" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>Experience proves that open and frequent communication between all team members (including the owner, as well as bidders and contractor) leads to a better-defined, priced, and executed project. The owner’s risk tolerance to flood damage may be greater or less than the budget tolerance; therefore, it is important to establish expectations early on with respect to protection level(s), budget certainty, schedule, and other project metrics. When walking the site to understand and define the project, it is typically easy to point out many potential vulnerabilities, such as sanitary drains without check valves.</p> <p>Other vulnerabilities are not so obvious and require various amounts of investigation. For example, whether the electrical conduits enter the building above or below the desired flood protection elevation. Similarly, research is required to determine the design flood elevation as well as what types of protection may or may not be allowed by the AHJ. This must be followed up by determining if the AHJ is open to alternatives based on site history, updated hydrology, future site usage, etc.</p> <p>Ultimately, flood protection elevation is determined based upon the flood risk—flash flood or floodplain—and owner’s risk tolerance balanced by their budget. The intended ownership duration and/or ownership financial structure—non-profit, public, private—may have a significant impact on project scope and/or budget as well as how the project is procured. Non-profits are typically grant process driven, while public and private institutions typically have a very long-term view and employ comprehensive and durable solutions but use differing financial and procurement methods. An additional question to ask: Is it more important for the flood protection to be invisible or obvious to show the facility is flood protected?</p> <h2>2. ASSESSMENT</h2> <p>The assessment of the facility forms the basis of what is and is not feasible or practical in terms of flood mitigation options with respect to constructability and finances. The assessment needs to determine the appropriate level of flood protection required. This requires retrieving data and information from the owner, FEMA, the municipality/authority having jurisdiction, etc.</p> <p>Before performing a physical site survey, the civil/ hydraulics and hydrology team must determine both the FEMA 100-year and 500-year flood elevations as well as any local municipality requirements that influence the recommended flood protection elevation. This involves reviewing topographic surveys, as-built drawings, researching the FEMA floodplain models, determining elements that predict flooding, expected water elevation(s), geographic limit(s) of flooding, and interviewing the local facility manager to understand the site’s history of flooding and/or high-water experiences. Understanding the meteorology, the watershed, and the critical zones—often flood elevations for specific locations—helps determine how to provide flood protection.</p> <p>After determining the appropriate floodplain elevations, the team must perform a site assessment to locate known and potential vulnerabilities at or below these different elevations. This involves looking for above-grade building envelope penetrations such as windows, air intake/exhausts, hose bibs, electrical feeds, as well as below-grade penetrations such as sewer discharge, sump and/or ejector pumps, underground tunnels/connections, etc., to determine the locations of all penetrations/ potential vulnerabilities.</p> <p>At this point, the owner risk tolerance needs exploring—how high is high enough for flood protection? Local code requirements and site history are obviously important, but the owner budget, schedule, and insurance profile can also influence the desired flood protection elevation (FPE).</p> <p>After determining the target FPE, the ability of the existing structure to resist the flood waters needs evaluating. This requires record drawings and/or detailed site assessment information if no drawings are available or critical information is missing. This may involve nondestructive or destructive testing and/or explorations of the structure and/or site. The condition of various penetrations, such as hose bibs, require evaluation as do the windows and seals to determine if they have the structural integrity to hold back the desired FPE loads. The assessment must also address building envelope porosity.</p> <p>Brick masonry construction—even with damp proofing—is typically considered porous while cast-in-place concrete is considered impervious, even without a vapor barrier. Tiltwall/precast construction is most vulnerable at the seals between panels for lower levels of flood loading. Water can also enter the building from below-grade penetrations and joints, especially if the site has sand lenses and high storm- driven ground water issues. At this stage it may be important to know the hydraulic properties of the soil if no geotechnical reports are available.</p> <p>Typically, the most desired approach is to minimize the amount of new construction, followed by minimizing the amount of strengthening. However, in some instances, a free-standing flood protection system may be more desirable due to schedule, economics, or occupant disruption. Finally, each discipline—architect, civil engineer, MEP engineer, and structural engineer—is now responsible for formulating potential flood mitigation approaches for discussion with the team and owner before moving into design development.</p> <h2>3. DESIGN</h2> <p>The assessment phase discovers all necessary design data, which is then discussed amongst each discipline (team member) to develop multiple feasible flood protection options. After several options are determined, they can be presented to the owner for review. The team’s design members should address redundancy of protection level(s), if any, and other salient owner concerns. The team’s construction contractor should address rough order of magnitude construction costs, durations, disruptions, and potential impacts on facility ingress/egress during construction for the various options. Flood protection design is site specific and is discussed within this paper in broad terms only.</p> <p>The design team develops flood protection options in accordance with the desired FPE; local, state, and federal codes; and AHJ, DEM, and FEMA requirements. During discussions with the owner, the flood protection options are reviewed, and the desired option is selected for design.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt=" Minor wind-blown rain can be expected in an open structure with dry floodproofing. " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="edccc088-d3b9-4bc0-b54f-d61c1262b367" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/5.%203000%20Post%20Oak%20Flood%20Gate%2002.jpg" width="2000" height="2667" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Minor wind-blown rain can be expected in an open structure with dry floodproofing. Courtesy Walter P Moore</figcaption></figure><p>The technical design requires coordination between the entire design team: geotechnical, MEP, civil, and structural engineers as well as architectural and life safety consultants. Other disciplines may be needed, site and constraint dependent. The design team must maintain regular communication with the owner during the design. Various unexpected conditions may arise that could significantly impact the surrounding area as a result of the construction and must be resolved before proceeding to the next design phase. Additionally, regular communication is recommended with manufacturers of flood doors and flood gates. The engineers drive the flood protection system requirements and designs while the architect guides the aesthetic improvements focusing on the appearance of the finished product while maintaining constructability and function.</p> <p>At this point in time, a construction contractor may develop the initial construction cost estimate and anticipated schedule for construction. The design team works with the contractor in relation to any constructability issues or other areas of potential improvement. Before the drawings are finalized, the owner reviews them for present and future operational compatibility and any other concerns. Upon owner’s approval, the team finalizes the construction documents for permitting.</p> <p>In some cases, the schedule dictates the need for an early package submittal to allow contractor mobilization. The contractor can then begin rough grading and other utility work prior to the main design package completion. Some items such as flood doors and barriers have long lead times, which must be properly accounted for in the schedule. Commissioning/proof testing of these element installations is strongly encouraged.</p> <h2>4. BIDDING</h2> <p>The bidding is dependent on the procurement requirements of the owner and typically includes solicitation for bids from preferred contractors. The solicitation should require the contractor to provide a list of previous flood protection projects and contacts, allowing the owner to review their prior work and historical performance. A mandatory pre- bid site walk with all potential bidders and providers of significant pre-engineered components, such as flood gates/doors, is strongly encouraged so all parties understand the owner’s intention, constraints, and specific requirements. The design team is often active in the bid tabulation and selection of manufacturers and contractor(s).</p> <h2>5. CONSTRUCTION</h2> <p>Planning for the construction observations and inspections starts during the design phase. Utilizing a standardized design, where possible, with consistent reinforcement bar sizing and spacing or consistent plate thickness aids the contractor during construction and facilitates observations and inspections for the design team. Additionally, drawings typically identify items that require special inspection and testing. The special inspection is performed by an independent testing laboratory/ agency hired directly by the owner. This helps provide the owner with protection from material and construction errors because the testing agency is accountable only to the owner.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="A key element of any active flood protection system is the linkage of a flood warning system to a documented engineering protocol " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2d1084ae-3b2b-45f5-94e0-09075ff37836" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/6.%20wpm_flood_protection_final%203.jpg" width="2000" height="986" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>A key element of any active flood protection system is the linkage of a flood warning system to a documented engineering protocol that stipulates what actions to take. Courtesy Walter P Moore</figcaption></figure><p>Visits to the project site are required at appropriate intervals for the team to become familiar with the progress and quality of the work and to determine if the work is being performed in a manner indicating that construction, when completed, will be in accordance with the contract documents. At the beginning of the project, site visits are usually on an as needed basis as the contractor is mobilizing and starting the layouts, then as construction becomes more involved, the frequency of site visits increases.</p> <p>The team must ensure the contractor requests a special visit when problems or concerns occur in order to avoid costly rework later. While on site, take photographs and videos as necessary, and discuss work progress with the contractor/site superintendent. Issue field reports after each site visit to document observations, any construction related issues or changes, and any corrective actions required. These reports document construction progress for the owner and entire project team, including the contractor. Construction documents also specify contractor required submittals. Appropriate action on those construction submittals needs to occur in a timely fashion. Submittals may include shop drawings, project data, test samples, additional information requests, clarification, or interpretation related to the project.</p> <p>For most flood protection projects, reserve a quarter to a third of the design budget for construction services. Site visits are an integral part of any flood protection project—water will exploit any weakness. In flood mitigation projects, poorly executed joints will leak in the future and may defeat the whole project purpose. The design team needs to be aware of all planned and unplanned construction/cold joints and other barrier penetrations such as MEP lines, to ensure the proper water proofing/detailing occurs. The team needs to educate—and be educated by— the contractor on how the various system components fit together and interact or, potentially, fail to interact.</p> <p>For example, will the pipe passing through a new flood barrier wall be directly embedded in concrete or will a sleeve and link seal-type fitting be used? Both will work, and have their own advantages and disadvantages, but one may work better with the contractor’s methods and means of construction.</p> <h2>6. MAINTENANCE</h2> <p>After the construction phase, a written protocol for how to operate the flood protection system must be developed with owner’s staff to provide the necessary understanding and documentation for deployment of the system. The documentation serves as a guide to train future staff and is a critical reference before and during a storm event.</p> <p>The end of construction is the beginning of the flood protection system life. The owner’s staff should train and maintain the system on a semi-annual to quarterly basis. Documentation addressing system maintenance, testing, and operations must be developed by the design team in consultation with the owner staff to establish future protocols and responsibilities.</p> <h1><a id="EarlyWarning" name="EarlyWarning"></a>Appendix: Early Warning Flood Forecasting</h1> <p>The Early Warning Flood Forecasting System reviews real-time rain forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) to provide early warning</p> <p>of approaching storms. The system can be a simple weather alert tied to the NWS alerts or a more complex dynamic model that starts processing the forecast to predict the potential of flooding. The Early Warning Flood Forecasting System is coupled with an action protocol developed using the engineering parameters of the system to document what actions are to be taken when certain predetermined thresholds are met.</p> <p>The connection to the NWS rain forecast provides dynamic planning capabilities to the owner. Knowing what is currently predicted to result can alter decisions well in advance of the storm. The Early Warning Flood Forecasting system continues to update itself as the NWS updates their rainfall forecasting, allowing the owner to have continuous up-to-date information on future flood risk. This aids in determining which flood protection protocols to activate, modify, or cancel for staff/site safety as new information becomes available.</p> <p>An important element of any active flood protection system is the linkage of a flood warning system to a documented engineering protocol that stipulates what actions to take when certain flood and rainfall thresholds are met. The flood implementation protocol must be a documented and practiced action plan that takes the guessing out of the system implementation. This allows staff to be prepared and act without waiting for approvals and decisions to be made, eliminating some potential for human error in getting the system in place in time to protect the facilities.</p> <p>The Early Warning Flood Forecast System development takes into consideration the amount of time needed to implement the flood protection system, the ability to keep areas of important access open for as long as practical, and it also provides the protocol when it is safe to retract the flood protection system. When loss of normal operations can impact effectiveness and critical activities, the Early Warning Flood Forecast System can be a very important part of the flood protection system.</p> <h1><a id="Teaming" name="Teaming"></a>Appendix: Teaming</h1> <p>The flood protection team’s design is for the owner and must meet the owner’s special needs. This requires that the team spend time with the owner to explain what the team knows and what the owner should consider. Every critical team member should be included in discussions so that everyone is on the same page, or understands why positions may differ. A large and diverse group beyond the owner and design team—FEMA consultants, FEMA, DEM, local AHJ, public or private funding entities, and others—must be included so that everyone is able to voice their concerns.</p> <p>The design team needs to listen to all these parties. It is key for the team to develop an understanding of how the owner operates, what their needs are, and their capabilities/limitations to operate the flood protection improvements. The team does not work in a vacuum. The design involves critical operational considerations. The team must integrate the owner’s staff to gain an understanding of how potential mitigation solutions impact existing operations and costs to ensure that the optimal solution is determined.</p> <p>The team must also gauge intent and level of risk to determine feasible alternatives. Finally, the team must present alternative solutions to help the owner understand the impacts, then the solution will evolve to address those critical issues by working closely with the owner’s operations. These solutions often require knowledge and action by the owner’s staff.</p> <p>The level of owner involvement in the design process and how they will interact with the design team needs to be determined during the scoping phase. It is critical to determine if the owner wants to be involved in the day-to-day decisions (active) or only in setting the overall objectives (passive) with the design team presenting potential solutions before refining the desired option. Also, does the owner have a FEMA, DEM, or other funding agency consultant that needs to be included in the decision process, so the design team is aware of the financial and/or regulatory reviews/issues?</p> <p>The next important scoping decision is who will lead the project. Frequently the civil/structural engineer is retained as the prime design consultant, based on their flood mitigation experience. Some owners expect an architect to prime the project. If the design team is open minded and collaborative this also works well. Most larger flood mitigation projects require an architect, a code consultant, MEP engineers, civil and structural engineers, surveyor, building enclosure specialist, hydraulics and hydrology specialist, and some require other specialists such as FEMA or vibration consultants.</p> <p>For more complex projects a construction contractor should be onboard early to provide constructability reviews and cost consulting. Occasionally, the owner may add other “team members” such as a key tenant representative that provides input and makes demands with no authority to fund or approve ideas. It is always important to understand the role and authority of all team members and how to interface with them so that the project is properly scoped and meaningful and constructive communication occurs in a timely manner.</p> <p><strong>About the Authors<br /> Doug Coenen, PE, is a Principal and the Civil Engineering Business Development Manager in <a href="https://www.walterpmoore.com/" target="_blank">Walter P Moore</a>’s Infrastructure Group. He can be reached at <a href="mailto:dcoenen@walterpmoore.com?subject=Flood%20protection%20AIA%20course">dcoenen@walterpmoore.com</a>. Ray Drexler, PE, is a Principal and Senior Project Manager in Walter P Moore’s Diagnostics Group. He can be reached at <a href="mailto:rdrexler@walterpmoore.com?subject=Flood%20protection%20AIA%20course">rdrexler@walterpmoore.com</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>For more information, please visit <a href="https://www.walterpmoore.com/" target="_blank">www.walterpmoore.com</a>.  </strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/structural" hreflang="en">Structural</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/site-preparation" hreflang="en">Site preparation</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/moisture-solutions" hreflang="en">Moisture Solutions</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/codes-and-regulations" hreflang="en">Codes and regulations</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a 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class="uk-margin"><a href="/codes-and-standards/standards" hreflang="en">Standards</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sustainability" hreflang="en">Sustainability</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sustainability/sustainable-design-and-construction" hreflang="en">Sustainable Design and Construction</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/resiliency" hreflang="en">Resiliency</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Wed, 14 Dec 2022 21:07:13 +0000 dbarista 50560 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Urban housing revival: 3 creative multifamily housing renovations https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/urban-housing-revival-3-creative-multifamily-housing-renovations <span>Urban housing revival: 3 creative multifamily housing renovations </span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Jason Forney, FAIA, and Jason Jewhurst, AIA, Partners, Principals, Bruner/Cott &amp; Associates</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 12/14/2022 - 09:38</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2022-12/1.%20OPENER%20IMAGE%20006-shed.jpg" width="2000" height="1186" alt="The Waltham Watch Factory courtyard after renovation. Photo © Richard Mandelkorn Photography" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This continuing education course from Bruner/Cott &amp; Associates highlights three compelling projects that involve reimagining unlikely buildings for compelling multifamily housing developments.</p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Bruner/Cott’s AIA award-winning inaugural project, the 1974 transformation of Boston’s expiring Chickering &amp; Sons Piano Factory into the Piano Craft Guild Housing for Artists, was the nation’s first conversion of a major mill structure into housing and a landmark development in the national movement to recycle old buildings.</p> <p>Dedicated to community edification, we continue our long-standing tradition of reimagining unlikely buildings for compelling new use today, generating design solutions where it seems like there are none and producing innovative results. This feature addresses three compelling project examples, two completed, and one in process.</p> <p>We often collaborate with a variety of New England developers to design affordable and market-rate housing. Adaptive reuse serves as a vehicle to achieve these ends at a variety of scales, often revitalizing long-neglected neighborhoods.</p> <h2>Frost Terrace, Cambridge, Mass.</h2> <p>One recent example is <strong><a href="https://www.brunercott.com/projects/frost-terrace/" target="_blank">Frost Terrace, a 100 percent affordable family community</a></strong> located within the center of Cambridge, Mass., an area in great need of such housing. The approximately 50,000-sf complex was developed by Capstone Communities and Hope Real Estate Enterprises and is anchored by three historic buildings: the William Frost House, a late-1800s Second Empire-style structure that was lifted and moved to the modern-day street wall of Massachusetts Avenue to form a “gateway” into the complex; and two early-1900s Shingle-style cottages.</p> <p>Our firm inserted a fourth anchoring element, a five-story brick volume, and raised three-story ribbon-like volume faced with clapboards within this quasi-neighborhood, which, through its massing and materiality, knits together these diverse architectural elements.</p> <p>Built during Cambridge’s transformation into a Victorian suburb, the William Frost House was originally constructed as an impressive family home. It was later subdivided, further homes were built on the adjacent lots, and much of the land along and behind this area of Massachusetts Avenue was sold.</p> <p>Over time, the deteriorating house, as well as the previously relocated and transformed North Prospect Street Church adjacent to it, became preservation priorities for the Cambridge Historical Commission. However, there were multiple challenges to preserving the residence. The two key examples are that the front house on the site had to be relocated and refitted, and managing construction type and ratings in this diverse context also proved to be difficult.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Before and after photos of the Waltham Watch Factory conversion to residential. © Richard Mandelkorn Photography" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="065b9db6-9f16-4f0a-867f-f27f57db10df" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2A.%20014-int.jpg" width="2000" height="1329" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Before and after photos of the Waltham Watch Factory conversion to residential. Loft residences include studio apartments and larger duplex units. The width of the floor plates are 32 feet. After photo: © Richard Mandelkorn Photography. Before photo: Bruner/Cott</figcaption></figure><p><img alt="Before and after photos of the Waltham Watch Factory conversion to residential. The width of the floor plates are 32 feet. Image Bruner / Cott" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="96fd434f-935a-4cf6-8cfa-21ffc6ff6760" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2B.%20WWF_EC-%20070117_Waltham%20Watch%20-%2065.JPG" width="2000" height="1500" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>The William Frost House’s position on the site was not conducive to new construction behind it, and its interior layout was not suitable for conversion to multi-family housing. The team worked closely with the Historical Commission to devise a strategy that relocated the building in a way that re-established its connection with the former church building, and improved its visibility—all while freeing space for addition and new construction. Meanwhile, the team worked carefully on the interior to maintain and re-structure floor plates to allow for re-configuration. While the design pushed the boundaries of form, including a substantial cantilever achieved by a Vierendeel truss, at a technical level, the new construction relies on the principals of ‘five-over-one’ construction that are well established. However, the insertion of a five-over-one structure within a dense context, bordered by what were sprinklered, unprotected wood-frame single family homes presented a few novel challenges.</p> <p>All existing buildings were carefully upgraded with sprinklers that feed off a central system in the new construction. The renovated Frost house was upgraded with protected wood-frame construction as part of the renovation, and where it abuts the three-hour podium, the separation was turned down, running vertically to the foundation. While the rear houses remain unprotected, the exterior walls required careful fire-resistance upgrades where they face the new building.</p> <p>The construction of Frost Terrace began in 2019 and required the deft navigation of existing zoning regulations within the City of Cambridge: the primary issues were a lack of on-site parking, the development of multifamily dwellings, a five-fold increase in FAR density, and a building height 20 feet above the 35-foot zoning district cap. However, we worked with the developers to take advantage of Massachusetts’ Chapter 40B state statute, which allows the state’s Zoning Boards of Appeals to approve new housing developments with a degree of flexibility if at least a quarter of the units are earmarked for long-term affordability.</p> <p>The completed project opened in Fall 2021. The refurbished historic buildings, along with the newly constructed volume, include 26 two-to-three bedroom apartments, 13 one-bedroom apartments, and one studio unit. All of the units meet the need for affordable housing in the area, though they are grouped into three separate categories: the majority are reserved for households earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, while eight units are split evenly between households earning less than 50% or 30% of the area median income.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Frost Terrace affordable housing project in Cambridge, Mass. Photo © Robert Benson Photography; Before: Bruner/Cott" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="899ccbbe-e799-444c-afb3-84da633ce0dd" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3A.%20BrunerCott_FrostTerrace_16a.jpg" width="2000" height="1418" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Pictured above and on the opposite page: As part of the Frost Terrace affordable housing project in Cambridge, Mass., the William Frost House was relocated to free up a significant portion of the site for new construction and to communicate the site’s residential history along the streetscape. After photo: © Robert Benson Photography; Before photo: Bruner/Cott </figcaption></figure><p><img alt="Frost Terrace affordable housing project in Cambridge, Mass. Photo Bruner/Cott" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0e688219-d2f5-4da4-ad47-541313d1dd69" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3Aa%20INSET%20House%20Lifted.jpg" width="2000" height="2000" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>The project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification in the Multi-Family Mid-Rise category based on a suite of sustainable features embedded across the complex. In terms of energy efficiency, each is temperature-controlled by an all-electric heating and cooling system, and the HVAC systems are fitted with energy recovery ventilators that circulate filtered outdoor air. Further sustainable design features include solar panels and stormwater management infrastructure.</p> <h2>Waltham Watch Factory, Waltham, Mass.</h2> <p>The <strong><a href="https://www.brunercott.com/projects/waltham-watch-factory/" target="_blank">Waltham Watch Factory, in Waltham, Mass.,</a></strong> similar in many ways to the Chickering &amp; Sons Piano Factory, was a hulking, impressive remnant of New England’s fading industrial heritage. Built in 1854, the sprawling 400,000-sf complex comprises 30-plus reddish-brown brick industrial buildings built in the Victorian and Italianate styles, arranged around a series of expansive courtyards. The complex was largely shuttered by the middle of the twentieth century, though portions were intermittently leased to manufacturers over the years. Our firm and developer Berkeley Investments were charged with transforming this historically significant landmark into an urban mixed-use urban campus.</p> <p>The obstacles were formidable and gritty. Over a century of industrial use had rendered much of the site severely contaminated with trichloroethylene, gasoline, cadmium, mercury, as well as small amounts of radium. Work begun in 2014 on the remediation of these contaminants necessitated the excavation and removal of soil across the complex prior to conversion of the structures themselves. Stormwater management utilized 12-foot-deep infiltration trenches except where metals contaminated soil next to the Charles River. The factory was built prior to the advent of abundant, cheap electricity, and, as a result, relied on copious amounts of daylight. That requirement manifests itself in the complex’s yawning tripartite and double-hung windows and extremely tapered footprint, which measures approximately 32 feet wide. The narrow floor plates dictated a single-loaded corridor layout for the housing; and creative and thoughtful unit layouts were developed to maximize daylight and efficiency, including duplexes where applicable.</p> <p>Although the bones of the load-bearing masonry complex were in fine shape, the mechanical systems had to be completely replaced to accommodate contemporary performance and comfort standards. We generally take an approach that carefully studies locations for mechanical systems, especially where the roofs of waterside buildings are low compared to adjacent public ways, and this project was no exception to this rule. The interior is, for lack of a better description, unapologetically industrial, and the task was to avoid obscuring or erasing original architectural scale, such as the exposed wood beams, brick walls, and long corridors that surround the large courtyards. In this particular case, we had to keep these considerations in mind while linking the mechanical system across the multiple sprawling sections of the complex. We were able to artfully weave such infrastructure through the project with conscientious material choices that placed any interventions within the context of the existing historic brick masonry.</p> <p>A further challenge was threading routes of circulation and points of egress throughout the campus’s many buildings. Again, the narrowness of the factory posed a challenge, and the firm paid special attention to the insertion of such elements to avoid overwhelming the existing framework with access and entry points.</p> <p>Due to the size of the Waltham Watch Factory, the project was approached in three phases. The first was the completion of multiple office and commercial spaces; then residential conversion for 96 housing units; and, finally, a further residential conversion comprising 67 units. Stitching these elements together are newly landscaped courtyards, that, with their rain gardens, aid in responsible storm water management.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="Frost Terrace affordable housing project in Cambridge, Mass. site plan" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2ec5266e-5db5-4bbf-97f5-f41512ef4fe8" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3B.%202021-06-14_Design%20Concept_Axon%20Diagrams_Page_1.jpg" width="2856" height="1848" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Site plans for the Frost Terrace affordable housing project, Cambridge, Mass. </figcaption></figure><p><img alt="Before and after site plans for the Frost Terrace affordable housing project, Cambridge, Mass. " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="16c257a3-b300-46d0-aaa1-b094710c63ae" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3C.%202021-06-14_Design%20Concept_Axon%20Diagrams_Page_2.jpg" width="2125" height="1364" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>808 Memorial Drive Apartments, Cambridge, Mass.</h2> <p>Mid-Century Modern and Brutalist structures are a more recent addition to the field of adaptive reuse, and our firm has successfully led the renovation of several such buildings in the Boston area, including the Boston University School of Law and the Smith Campus Center at Harvard University.  An ongoing project in this category is the <strong><a href="https://www.brunercott.com/projects/808-memorial-drive/" target="_blank">808 Memorial Drive Apartments</a></strong>, located adjacent to the Charles River in Cambridge. Comprising two towers, the 490,000-sf affordable housing complex was built in 1972 in the Brutalist style, and, typical for that era and design, was an energy hog. For the client, Homeowners Rehab, Inc., it was imperative that any refurbishment of the buildings should improve energy efficiency and accessibility without displacing or significantly disrupting existing residents. Work on the project began in 2020, with the financial backing of MassHousing, and has progressed at a steady pace since.</p> <p>Overcladding the existing concrete facades of the two towers was desirable to both the client and our firm. The first step to this was a comprehensive analysis of the building envelopes to ensure they could withstand this type of renovation, and that such an intervention was going to be viable over the long term. The analysis proved that the envelope could be modified and renovated without major structural impacts or upgrades to the building. We began a study to assess how the overcladding could improve energy performance and boost air filtration to increase the quality of living in the interior spaces and comfort for residents.</p> <p>Sunrise Erectors, a facade contractor based in the Boston area, fabricated the custom unitized panel wall system that effectively envelops the existing structure as an insulated, waterproof jacket. The 12-inch-thick cladding assembly system is comprised of insulated metal panels and backup wall panels, both of which are produced by manufacturer Kingspan. The unitized curtain wall system was fabricated by Energia Solar ESWindows, with Tecnoglass glazing, and was placed over the existing windows. Once the new system is entirely in place, the contractor will move ahead with the removal of the old windows and complete the construction and air sealing components between the interior spaces to the new cladding assembly.</p> <p>The firm approached the project’s interior design and renovation as three intertwined layers. For the individual units, we developed interior upgrade packages that include the installation of new kitchens, bathroom fixtures, and new paints and finishes, and phased replacement of the heating and cooling systems. Common spaces and routes of circulation will also see a revamp with contemporary finishes, flooring, signage and high-efficiency lighting. Additionally, our design will include several updates to the complex’s landscaping and community playground, as well as accessibility updates and new surface materials, benches, and exterior lighting for pathways and community courtyards.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="808 Memorial Drive Apartments, Cambridge, Mass. " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf5a43ac-b980-41b3-a762-47583ae41504" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4A%20MicrosoftTeams-image%20%283%29.jpeg" width="2000" height="2000" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Mid-Century Modern and Brutalist structures are a more recent addition to the field of adaptive reuse. An ongoing project in this category is the 808 Memorial Drive Apartments, located adjacent to the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass. Comprising two towers, the 490,000-sf affordable housing complex was built in 1972 in the Brutalist style, and, typical for that era and design, was an energy hog. Photo: © Richard Mandelkorn</figcaption></figure><p>Emphasis on pride of place and community uses are at the core of Bruner/Cott’s approach to adaptive reuse design, along with the creation of affordable and market-rate housing. This practice is grounded in a respect for historic buildings and a belief that existing structures, a critical component in lowering and leveraging embodied carbon in the built environment, can be effectively reimagined and transformed, minimizing operational carbon and the cost of living for future generations. In short, we believe, as architect and author Carl Elefante, FAIA, observed: “The greenest building is the one already built.”</p> <h2>Adaptive Reuse Project Highlights</h2> <p>1. Frost Terrace’s William Frost House was lifted off of its foundation and placed on cribbing—more or less stacks of wooden blocks—then moved slowly in one direction, and then another, until placed in its present position.</p> <p>2. Developing the project required Bruner/Cott Architects and the developer to work around existing zoning regulations which, under most circumstances, would have prevented its height and density.</p> <p>3. The project is expected to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals with a suite of features, such as an all-electric heating and cooling system and energy recovery ventilators.</p> <p>4. The Waltham Watch Factory’s narrow floor plate, a legacy of being built prior to the era of cheap and abundant electricity, dictated a single-loaded corridor layout for the housing; and creative and thoughtful unit layouts were developed to maximize daylight and efficiency, including duplexes where applicable.</p> <p>5. At the Factory, routes of circulation and points of egress were threaded through the heavy masonry construction, and special attention was paid not to overwhelm the existing industrial framework.</p> <p>6. The great scale of the Factory, 400,000 sf, required the project to be completed in multiple stages.</p> <p>7. 808 Memorial Drive’s refurbishment emphasizes improved energy efficiency and accessibility, all while keeping its tenants in place. Overcladding proved the most strategic plan to meet those goals.</p> <p>8. The 12-inch-thick cladding assembly system envelops its towers in insulated metal panels and backup wall panels.</p> <p>9. Interior work comprises the installation of new kitchens, bathroom fixtures, paints and finishes, and the phased replacement of the heating and cooling systems.</p> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-lu" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/multifamily-housingapartmentscondominiums" hreflang="en">Multifamily housing/Apartments/Condominiums</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/multifamily-housing" hreflang="en">Multifamily Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/multifamily-housing/student-housing" hreflang="en">Student Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/reconstruction-renovation" hreflang="en">Reconstruction &amp; Renovation</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-sector-reports/multifamily-housing" hreflang="en">Multifamily Housing</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Wed, 14 Dec 2022 15:38:14 +0000 dbarista 50561 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Steel structures offer faster path to climate benefits https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/steel-structures-offer-faster-path-climate-benefits <span>Steel structures offer faster path to climate benefits</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/07/2022 - 16:12</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2022-11/1.%20HEHQ%20Construction%20Image%20%C2%A9Arup.jpeg" width="2000" height="1500" alt="AIA course - Steel structures offer faster path to climate benefits" title="AIA course - Steel structures offer faster path to climate benefits" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Faster delivery of buildings isn’t always associated with sustainability benefits or long-term value, but things are changing.</p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>Faster delivery of buildings isn’t always associated with sustainability benefits or long-term value, but things are changing. An instructive case is in the development of steel structures that not only allow speedier erection times, but also can reduce embodied carbon and create durable, highly resilient building approaches.</p> <p>Using higher-strength steel formulations is one way to minimize the amount of steel needed on a project while also reducing the amount of welding and on-site augmentation required, both of which cut embodied carbon, according to engineer Robert A. Chmielowski, PE, SE, a Senior Principal with Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), Seattle. Another solution, the use of prefabricated and modular steel structures, is seen in projects ranging from an airport concourse in Los Angeles to a hotel in New York.</p> <p>In fact, the two approaches—stronger steel and prefabricated elements—are among others being more widely applied. The former includes new steel formulations greater than the traditional Grade 50 steel, with a minimum yield strength of 50 kilopound per square inch (ksi). “About 20 years ago, 65-ksi materials began entering the market, and we dabbled with those as an option to reduce total steel tonnage,” says MKA’s Chmielowski. “It became clear that 65 ksi had other advantages, too: lower shipping costs, easier welding, and less need to cover-plate columns, for example, which simplified delivery and eliminated other steel costs, reducing fabrication time and budgets, too.”</p> <p><br /><strong>SPONSORED BY:</strong></p> <p><img alt="aisc logo steel course November 2022" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a2092d18-5b41-49c4-816c-e396e8282d39" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/aisc%20logo%20steel%20course%20November%202022.jpg" width="200" height="200" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><br /> These advantages increased speed to market and brought obvious sustainability benefits, adds Chmielowski, as well as hidden but calculable advantages such as less heating (and less greenhouse gas emission) required for welding 65-ksi assemblies. His firm has also used very-high-strength 70-ksi and 80-ksi steel—which, surprisingly, do require preheating for welding—to even further shrink project tonnages for more accelerated schedules and more sustainable outcomes. MKA cites recent buildings in Chicago and Denver, such as the latter’s new 1900 Lawrence, a 30-story office tower now under construction using 80-ksi members with a project team including contractor Hensel Phelps, architect Goettsch Partners, and fabricator Puma Steel.</p> <p>Structural engineers in major markets around the country say they now use 65-ksi steel as a baseline for their projects, signaling a new era. Some producers and fabricators, such as Zalk Josephs Fabricators in Stoughton, Wis., have emerged as leaders and resources in the use of innovative steel grades.</p> <p>Other fast delivery approaches using steel systems are in development with a big boost from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), including the aptly named SpeedCore approach and a new “fast floor” concept currently in development. “The American structural steel industry set an audacious goal a few years ago: increase the speed at which one can design, fabricate, and construct a steel structure by 50% by 2025,” says Chris Raebel, AISC’s VP of Engineering and Research. “We’ve already met that goal, three years ahead of schedule, and we’ve challenged ourselves to achieve a further 50% reduction by 2050.”</p> <p>Projects such as 200 Park, a mixed-use office complex under construction in San Jose, Calif., offer early examples applying SpeedCore, says Raebel. The project is being led by developer Jay Paul Company, with Gensler as design architect, MKA as structural engineer, and Level 10 as the GC.</p> <p>Technically defined as a concrete-filled, composite-plate shear wall, or CPSW system, SpeedCore structures rely on two steel plates connected with steel cross ties, which is then filled with high-strength concrete. “The modular nature of these prefabricated ‘sandwich’ panels allows for faster erection speed since the system provides stability without requiring traditional rebar reinforcing or the temporary formwork of a typical concrete core, and progress is not dependent on concrete curing times,” according to Level 10. The contractor confirms that 200 Park “is the first project in California to use the SpeedCore hybrid core system,” which MKA’s Chairman and CEO Ronald Klemencic, PE, SE, Hon AIA, has worked to develop alongside AISC.</p> <p>“The system consists of outer steel plates and shear stud assemblies that deliver structural capacity and also fulfill the requirement for formwork during construction,” says Yasmin Rehmanjee, PE, SE, Partner and New York Co-Office Director with Buro Happold. The method can help slash erection time by 42%, according to AISC. “As a wall construction methodology, SpeedCore used in high-rise construction aims to reduce construction time, as well as utilize steel and concrete to exhibit their best behaviors in this composite system,” adds Rehmanjee.</p> <p>Other concrete-steel hybrid approaches, such as filled hollow-steel section (HSS) members and tilt-up steel and concrete panels, underscore the efficiency of the composite structural concepts. One fabricator and erector shop well known for rapid warehouse construction, BZI in Southern Utah, leverages proprietary tilt-up steel-and-concrete systems along with steel columns, using large-scale modular flooring systems that are lifted and dropped in place. The widely successful technique has been used in big-box retail projects, too.</p> <p>Whether for SpeedCore, filled HSS, or composite tilt-up, “these types of systems require early coordination and confirmation of wall openings and penetrations, as well as site welding of plates between sections of walls,” says Rehmanjee, emphasizing that the sustainability benefits can be significant. AISC studies show that about 90% of embodied carbon in a steel building’s structural system is attributable to steel production at the mill level, which is encouraging more use of the least carbon-intensive mill processes. Electric arc furnace (EAF) mills, which are scrap-based and more efficient than basic oxygen furnaces, often attract building teams to domestically produced structural steel. Studies show that some overseas sources, such as mills in China, may have three times the environmental impact than carefully controlled and regulated U.S. producers with EAF production.</p> <p>“Using domestic steel also speeds a project because of reduced time for transportation—which also saves money” and cuts carbon, according to AISC’s Raebel.</p> <h2>Hybrid structural steel systems: The best of Both Worlds</h2> <p>Another hybrid system type, combining steel with mass-timber assemblies, is also gaining wider use, including by many advocates of steel buildings. “Steel is prefabricated and installed quickly, but the slab-on-metal deck installation can add time to a project,” says Michelle Roelofs, PE, Associate Principal at engineering firm Arup. “Using prefabricated mass timber panels—e.g., cross-laminated timber—can cut down project schedules.”</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="2A. 150 N Riverside -MKA_MD_ looking up to sloping columns- construction" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e96c9664-9bdb-402d-b2ef-47006a129398" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2A.%20150%20N%20Riverside%20-MKA_MD_%20looking%20up%20to%20sloping%20columns-%20construction.jpeg" width="2000" height="1333" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>For 150 North Riverside in Chicago, high-strength steel formulations allowed for smaller, stronger sloping columns with fewer augmentations. Courtesy MKA</figcaption></figure><p>With these hybrid structural systems, early coordination is essential to effective and fast delivery, says Roelofs, an author of the AISC’s recently published recommendations for steel-framed building structures with mass timber floor decks, Design Guide 37: Hybrid Steel Frames with Wood Floors. The guide encourages the use of horizontal mass-timber systems as a way to help reduce the amount of carbon-intensive concrete in a structure. “Vertical penetrations for services can be prefabricated, saving time in the field,” Roelofs explains. “It is also possible to avoid wet trades with this system, which can save time.”</p> <p>Not only can the hybrids speed delivery and enhance sustainability, they are also being used for more ambitious and taller buildings, says Jeff Spiritos, Principal of mass-timber developer Spiritos Properties, the group behind commercial and residential projects in the Northeast. “All-timber structures can be built to about 18 stories, as has been demonstrated in 2019 with Mjøstårnet, the 18-story, mixed-use building in Norway,” says Spiritos. “But steel-timber hybrids will allow for much taller buildings that can help decarbonize the way tall buildings are built, a critical path to reducing embodied carbon in building materials.” Spiritos has served as chair of a steel-timber hybrid research project led by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), with support from trade groups constructsteel and the Softwood Lumber Board.</p> <p>“The benefits are many in terms of melding the performance of a steel stair-elevator lateral frame core with the prefabricated, carbon-storing, natural, and healthy benefits of a mass timber frame and floor system for the rest of the structure,” adds Spiritos, whose experience includes all-timber structures such as for 79 King Street, a 70-unit apartment building for 55-plus seniors now underway in Northampton, Mass.</p> <p>In general, hybrid timber-and-steel offers a way to reduce overall steel content, which is one key direction for improving sustainability that has also been spurring other promising approaches, says Suzanne Provanzana, PE, SE, Principal with Buro Happold. “While steel has high recycled content, it takes high levels of heat and energy to create, which are sources of carbon emissions,” says Provanzana. “Advances are being made toward zero-carbon steel, which would essentially sustainably source the required energy generating the steel from renewable resources.”</p> <h2>Greener Steel buildings</h2> <p>For these steel products, mills and suppliers can certify the offerings as net-zero, because the manufacturers or fabricators have purchased offsets to balance the emissions put into the air, Provanzana explains. She also points to steel suppliers who are now providing product-specific environmental product declarations, or EPDs, which show how much global warming potential is associated with specific steel shapes. This approach, supported by experts in sustainability, delivers building teams more accurate information than industry averages that were previously used and allows structural designers to specify lower-carbon shapes. “These represent a significant start to recognizing the industry’s impact,” says Provanzana. “The full realization of zero-emissions steel fabrication would be a major advancement in the future.”</p> <p>Building teams also need to recognize the total impact of the structural approach to assure both efficient delivery and sustainability. For example, says Arup’s engineer Roelofs, while replacing slab-on-metal deck with mass timber floor panels cuts embodied carbon—especially for projects with large floor areas—the systems raise at least one key caveat: “It is important to note that mass timber floors typically require a mass topping for acoustics, and care needs to be taken to minimize embodied carbon within the mass topping,” she explains.</p> <p>Yet, hybrid steel and timber structures can achieve smaller column sizes and increase beam spans as compared to traditional mass timber, the developer Spiritos notes, and in some cases reduce foundation costs and schedule. He and others, such as Provanzana and Roelofs, also point to the aesthetic benefits of exposed timber beams, structural wood-finish ceilings and more, all alongside architecturally exposed steel. Examples of these works include the 25,000-sf Houston Endowment Headquarters, an office structure of wood, steel, and embedded photovoltaics by Kevin Daly Architects, Arup, and the contractor WS Bellows. In another project completing construction now, a recreation and wellness center for Quinnipiac University, designLAB architects and Buro Happold have created a multipurpose campus with floor slabs of cross-laminated timber (CLT) within a steel frame.</p> <p>While mass timber is unfamiliar to many professionals—not to mention combustible and prohibited for certain construction types in many jurisdictions—it is one of the enabling technologies for a greener future. “There is enormous potential for creation of buildings that are self-sustaining and beautiful, too,” says San Francisco-based architect and structural engineer Charles F. Bloszies, FAIA. “Yet, these gestures are rare.”</p> <h2>Less Material, Better Performance with structural steel construction</h2> <p>Still, advances in product design and reporting on energy inputs and environmental impact are contributing to better outcomes and speedier delivery. While steel makers and allied industries push forward, building teams are seeking out immediate and clear ways to reduce total steel content to cut embodied carbon for new projects.</p> <p>“Generally, reducing the amount of steel used to accomplish the same result will improve sustainability and reduce embodied carbon,” says James J. Szymanski, AIA, Principal with The Architectural Team, Boston. “For example, using braced frames for lateral systems uses less steel than using moment frames for the same applications. This requires a greater level of coordination between the architect and structural engineer, but the end result will reduce cost, reduce construction duration, and reduce embodied carbon, too.”</p> <p><img alt="3. Level 10 speed core" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d3d6c1ae-b704-4ccb-af9c-2aae8974494a" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3.%20Level%2010%20speed%20core.jpeg" width="2000" height="2492" loading="lazy" /></p> <figure role="group"><img alt="3A. Level 10 speed core 200_Park_courtesy_Level10" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="50a985c0-42d9-4432-8ac2-bcbb7e7ef772" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3A.%20Level%2010%20speed%20core%20200_Park_courtesy_Level10.jpeg" width="2000" height="1204" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>200 Park, a 19-story office building in San Jose, Calif., employs a SpeedCore structural system. The system requires no temporary formwork for the typical concrete core. The basic structure is a concrete-filled, composite-plate shear wall system—two steel plates filled with high-strength concrete. Courtesy Level10 and AISC</figcaption></figure><p>Examples include Bower, the first phase of the much-anticipated new Fenway Center mixed-use complex with 312 residential units and 40,000 sf of commercial space in two buildings adjacent to a rail station. The eight-story and 14-story towers employ highly efficient steel structures include a pedestrian deck that now sits over commuter rail lines and platforms, and light, transparent base elements for retail and amenity spaces.</p> <p>Another example: A delicate insertion of a new structure into the concrete 1960s building of the Cathedral School in San Francisco, which expands school area adjacent to the apse end of the venerated landmark, the 1964 steel-framed Grace Cathedral. “This addition is a perfect case study for using steel, with a solution employing a massive transfer girder put in place of a concrete beam,” says the architect and engineer Bloszies. “As in many complex infill situations, steel was the only choice, taking advantage of its light weight and strength and the ability of the crews to erect the steel over a weekend.”</p> <p>For speed of project delivery, building teams seek out new ways to increase efficiency and construction output. “Efficiency in steel construction is all about how many pieces of steel can be erected in each day,” says The Architectural Team’s Szymanski. “Anything that can be done to reduce the number of pieces and increase the speed at which they can be erected will shorten the duration.” Examples include using columns that extend through two or three floors rather than just a single floor, he says, as well as simplifying steel connection details.</p> <p>After pioneering with SpeedCore, MKA’s Klemencic describes the emerging “fast floor” project with AISC and a consortium of universities, which promises steel floor structures that are prefabricated, modularized, and completed without use of any concrete, offering “a substantial improvement in time.”</p> <p>Led by principal investigator Jerome F. Hajjar, a professor and chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at Northeastern University, the team is fabricating their first test specimens for acoustical and vibration performance -- important attributes for floors entirely of steel. “Those are the areas where we need to be more creative and inventive,” says Klemencic, who adds that the team is working with Clark Construction on a study comparing the novel steel floor approach with today’s traditional slab on metal deck. Inspired by shipbuilding methods, the new approach could cut time required by 30%.</p> <p>Another way to speed steel delivery is by moving construction offsite to controlled manufacturing and fabrication settings. Bloszies has employed the approach in modular solutions in supportive “navigation centers” for homeless people, including the 46-unit Homekey in Mountain View, Calif., created by Bloszies with developer Sares Regis Group, DevCon Construction, and shelter and social services provider LifeMoves, which debuted last year on the long, narrow site.</p> <p>“The modules—some modified shipping containers, and some factory-built structures of similar size—provide private sleeping spaces, communal showers and toilets, dining, and onsite client support services,” according to the architect and engineer Bloszies. The units have been “stitched together with custom site elements”: a wood deck connects finish floors of all modules at a single level for ease of accessibility, and a shade sail spans the dining courtyard to shelter users from the elements and create a visual focal point. Ornamental plantings and the community building, with its full glazed main façade, create a congenial and welcoming setting.</p> <h2>Coordination is key to speed with steel construction</h2> <p>In all project types, construction delivery expertise is seen as essential to more sustainable and speedier project outcomes—perhaps more than any other single advance.</p> <p>“Plan ahead, and get the fabricator involved early if at all possible,” says Wade Lewis, vice president of Puma Steel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, noting that U.S. mills producing grade 65 and testing grade 80 steel needs to get materials from offshore, and some ports are backed up, requiring extra time. "Also, welding on grade 80 takes extra certifications to comply with the American Welding Society, but in tall buildings or buildings with large trusses, the cost savings can be substantial."</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="4. Buro Happlod Steel timber" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a3cfe183-daad-4072-87d7-01c7fbbbb04c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4.%20Buro%20Happlod%20Steel%20timber%20.jpeg" width="2000" height="1003" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Studies by Buro Happold of four structural approaches compared a steel-and-timber option with a CLT slab to a full mass-timber frame, a reinforced-concrete flat plate structure, and a steel frame with a composite slab of reinforced concrete cast on top of profiled steel decking. Courtesy Buro Happold</figcaption></figure><p>“Early contractor coordination can have significant schedule benefits with steel erection,” says the Buro Happold engineer Rehmanjee, especially when using building information modeling (BIM) tools such as Tekla and 3D model review software such as Navisworks, both created as powerful coordination tools. “With this kind of software, it is possible to coordinate steel member and connection configurations with all other trades prior to steel fabrication,” she says. “This then allows for all the parts and pieces of steel to come together seamlessly on site where members are fabricated, shipped, labeled, and identified easily.”</p> <p>The additional upfront work prior to construction commencing, where all team members—fabricator, erector, construction manager, structural engineer, and architect—come together to work out all the coordination in BIM, has been shown to yield enormous benefits. “Moving a piece of steel or adding a steel penetration in BIM is far more cost-effective and schedule-friendly than having to do either of these things after fabrication or after erection,” says Rehmanjee, who has collaborated on such projects as Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.</p> <p>AISC’s Raebel confirms the critical nature of early collaboration with fabricators, and the emerging use of automated connection designs, as ways to ensure successful and speedy projects.  Savvy project teams also start with early contractor engagement, as they are aware of market availability and supply chain limitations, Rehmanjee notes. “Market conditions can often be a moving target,” she adds. “Availability of plates versus HSS versus wide-flange beams can vary dramatically.”</p> <p>The best news for building teams is that systems promoting speed can also have sustainability advantages. Minimizing the amount of material used, while still producing fabrication-friendly connections and durable, resilient structures, is the wave of the future.</p> <h2>6 Speedy Steel Construction Approaches from AISC’s Experts</h2> <p>We asked steel design experts from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) to outline the latest innovations in steel structures and construction that can help save time on project delivery. They offered these six approaches:</p> <ul><li><strong>SpeedCore. </strong>This innovative system (www.aisc.org/speedcore) reduced the erection time on the first project to use it by around 43%—and results are looking even better on the second project.</li> <li><strong>Robotic welding.</strong> Fabricators have almost entirely converted their shop equipment to CNC technology—and now they’re increasingly introducing robotic welding (www.aisc.org/roboticwelding). In some cases, they are seeing work that took four people three hours to complete now needing just one person and 15 minutes.</li> <li><strong>Automated beam positioning during erection.</strong> Vita Industrial (www.vitaindustrial.co) has introduced a system that cuts erection time by 50% while dramatically reducing onsite injuries.</li> <li><strong>AISC has just introduced the “NSBA Guide to Increasing the Speed of Steel Bridge Fabrication.”</strong> It focuses on opportunities outside the shop, such as getting materials, facilitating, routine procedures, and coordinating inspection—all things that rely on seamless teamwork between the fabricator, owner, engineer, and contractor (www.aisc.org/nsba/design-resources/accelerated-steel-achieving-speed-in-steel-bridge-fabrication).</li> <li><strong>Hybrid steel frames with wood floors. </strong>The flagship project for this right now is a new dorm at the Rhode Island School of Design. The six-story building was erected in less than three weeks. Additional examples are featured in AISC’s hybrid steel design guide: www.aisc.org/products/publication/design-guide/design-guide-37-hybrid-steel-frames-with-wood-floors.</li> <li><strong>AISC’s Need for Speed program at www.aisc.org/needforspeed. </strong>AISC initially set out to increase the speed by which one can design and build with steel by 50% by 2025; the industry has met that goal already.</li> </ul></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/structural" hreflang="en">Structural</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/design-trends" hreflang="en">Design Trends</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/steelsteel-framesteel-joists" hreflang="en">Steel/Steel frame/Steel joists</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-materials" hreflang="en">Building Materials</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/building-owner" hreflang="en">Building Owners</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-tech" hreflang="en">Building Tech</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-technology" hreflang="en">Building Technology</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/continuing-education-and-life-time-learning" hreflang="en">Continuing Education and Life Time Learning</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/products-and-materials/structural-materials" hreflang="en">Structural Materials</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/structural-materials/steel-buildings" hreflang="en">Steel Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/resiliency" hreflang="en">Resiliency</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/codes-and-standards" hreflang="en">Codes and Standards</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/codes-and-standards/codes" hreflang="en">Codes</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/seismic-design" hreflang="en">Seismic Design</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/structural-materials/steel-buildings" hreflang="en">Steel Buildings</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><div class="pdfpreview" id="pdfpreview-91022"> <span class="pdfpreview-image-wrapper"> <img alt="" title="" class="pdfpreview-file" src="/sites/default/files/pdfpreview/91022-45_AIA_BDC1022_FORWEB.png" width="857" height="1024" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </span> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2022 22:12:41 +0000 dbarista 50512 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com Solutions for cladding performance and supply issues https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bdcu/course/solutions-cladding-performance-and-supply-issues <span>Solutions for cladding performance and supply issues</span> <div class="uk-margin"><p>C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/dbarista" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dbarista</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/24/2022 - 13:08</span> <div class="uk-margin"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/2022-08/Solutions%20for%20cladding%20performance%20and%20supply%20issues%20AIA%20course.jpg" width="1800" height="1470" alt="Solutions for cladding performance and supply issues AIA course" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>This course covers design considerations and cladding assembly choices for creating high-performance building envelopes — a crucial element in healthy, energy-efficient buildings.</p> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><p>From a distance, today’s building innovations in cladding performance, aesthetics, and construction appear unconstrained and quite varied. Material mixing is creating newly expressive façades, and performance standards for solar heating, air infiltration, and moisture management are more effective than ever before. Increased use of rainscreens and new fabrication innovations, including engineered precast systems, contribute to surprising new enclosure designs backed by better solutions to ensure <a href="https://www.polyiso.org/page/ContinuousInsulation" target="_blank">continuous insulation (CI)</a> and properly installed and structurally supported air barriers.</p> <p>Technically, today’s building teams are producing passive designs and sustainable solutions that are more effective than ever, often with renewable materials that better withstand climate stressors while committing less embodied carbon.</p> <p>It sounds good. Yet, just as this is happening, building teams are facing unprecedented price pressures and supply chain issues that necessitate rapid, creative solutions. Where value engineering has been a dominant solution path of last resort in past decades, post-pandemic cladding selection is all about making do with less, anticipating shortages, and collaborating on clever downstream substitutions.</p> <p><img alt="1082022 AIA course cladding image" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bdfb65d0-d3f9-4530-a059-baccba4e6002" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/1082022%20AIA%20course%20cladding%20image.jpg" width="439" height="209" loading="lazy" /></p> <p>First, managing project costs is a dynamic, ongoing battle. Construction materials jumped over 20% on average from 2021 to 2022, according to Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, which <a href="https://www.agc.org/news/2022/03/15/materials-prices-nonresidential-construction-soar-21-percent-february-2021-february-2022-association" target="_blank">reported</a> that “multiple increases have taken effect for metals, fuel, and trucking, while supply chains have become even more snarled.” Examples of base products commonly used in cladding systems include copper (24.4% YOY cost increase), architectural coatings (20.3%), insulation materials (17.8%), and plywood sheathing and exterior siding products more generally, both at 22.5%. Behind the double-digit price increases are challenges for many material suppliers, including reduced availability and price hikes for energy and fuels, constituent materials, and freight itself. “At some point, projects no longer pencil out as contractors have to raise bid prices to keep pace with the rapid inflation in materials costs,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of AGC.</p> <h2>Cladding supply chain solutions</h2> <p>The initial response has been chaos for cladding specifiers and subcontractors alike. Owners and developers have postponed project starts to match exterior system delivery timeframes. Construction management (CM) firms have devised inventive project staging and sequencing to realign preconstruction activities or speed up certain trades while cladding deliveries catch up, <a href="https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/supply-chain/cladding-material-delays-threaten-construction-programmes-16-06-2021/" target="_blank">according to global developer McLaren</a>. Other project teams report using a stop-start approach on multiple project sites, both priming the project pipeline while also staging strategically for pending cladding product deliveries.</p> <p>During the pandemic, owner-operators with ambitious building programs like hotel company citizenM have stocked up on modular construction systems with integrated façade assemblies, completing new hotels in Los Angeles and Seattle recently, among others. Using a <a href="https://www.citizenm.com/company/centralised-business-model" target="_blank">centralized business model</a>, the global company created a backlog of the interchangeable and deployable, stackable units within structural steel cages. According to the CM Mortenson, which has built several of the hotels with architects Concrete, Baskervill, and Gensler, as well as engineers like Arup, integrating the “modern and luxurious modular room pods” into the building designs also slashes construction waste by up to 60% says Mortenson’s Director Of Project Development, Nathan Jenkins. He says the approach cuts construction duration by three to four months, compared to traditional onsite methods.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="2B. 1700-Pavilion_facade" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d23c72a9-7376-42c7-8dcd-dec15fd75eef" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2B.%201700-Pavilion_facade.jpg" width="1200" height="959" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>An innovative, light-colored cladding of preglazed, preinsulated GFRC panels clads 1700 Pavilion in Summerlin, Nev., accelerating construction for the lifestyle-driven commercial building. Photo: Howard Hughes Corp.</figcaption></figure><p>On the supply end, some façade system manufacturers resist bidding on projects unless they’ve received iron-clad purchase orders. Others, according to Capstone, a financing company active in the construction sector, use price collars or put “<a href="https://capstonetrade.com/tips-on-bidding-new-projects-in-an-inflationary-environment/" target="_blank">expiration dates</a>” on bids so they “have the opportunity to rebid if the bid validity date passes to account for the higher cost of goods.” Another option that has been rare in the past, stipulating inflation terms in contract language, can benefit general contractors and at-risk CMs, as well as the suppliers involved. “Construction cost inflation has not exceeded 5% for over three decades, so many contractors do not have experience in an inflationary environment,” according to Capstone. “Adding a few percentage points to bids for inflation won’t protect you sufficiently in this type of environment either.”</p> <h2>Stockpiling and speeding envelopes</h2> <p>Building teams with multiple projects or major capital programs are stockpiling materials they use frequently or are making “ghost orders” not necessarily related to a particular project. Suffolk Construction has successfully warehoused materials recently to keep projects on schedule, while other contractors are reporting related shortages of storage facilities, leading the teams to erect temporary laydown facilities. Taking a proactive posture has helped contractor XL Construction, which self-performs some of its work, to deal with <a href="https://www.constructiondive.com/news/hoarding-ghost-orders-and-pop-up-warehouses-constructions-new-supply-cha/619131/" target="_blank">reported lead times of up to a year for curtain wall systems and precast wall cladding</a>.</p> <p>Building design teams are regrouping and looking for more readily available materials. While fiberglass resin shortages slowed swimming pool construction last year, sales of glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) grew, boosting architectural precast suppliers like Willis Construction. Projects under way include <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-howard-hughes-corporation-breaks-ground-on-new-class-a-office-building-and-phase-two-of-multi-family-complex-in-downtown-summerlin-301309719.html" target="_blank">1700 Pavilion</a> in downtown Summerlin, Nev., a Howard Hughes Corp. office building to open this fall. Designed by architect Hart Howerton and being built by GC Whiting Turner, the building features an innovative, light-colored cladding of preglazed and preinsulated GFRC panels.</p> <p>The lightweight cladding panels minimize structural loads, which can hasten framing and connection deliveries, and they can be “prefabricated in advance while the foundation and structure are being built,” <a href="https://www.strombergarchitectural.com/technical/gfrc-cladding-panels.pdf" target="_blank">according to another GFRC maker, Stromberg Architectural</a>. “Cladding with GFRC panels can often eliminate the need for scaffolding because the panels are lifted by crane and then attached from inside the building,” regardless of weather, adds the Texas-based supplier.</p> <p>Craned applications hold wide appeal in this tight market, according to owner-developers like nonprofit senior community Harbor’s Edge in Norfolk, Va. Their project team—including contractor W.M. Jordan and architecture firms three and Clark Nexen—responded to developer and CEO Neil Volder’s conception of a 24-story high-rise expansion, River Tower, with an exterior façade system melding brick, masonry, and glass that could be erected quickly and with a crane, rather than system scaffolding. Local precast manufacturer Smith-Midland produced the SlenderWall composite cladding panels offsite in <a href="https://smithmidland.com/blog/2019/07/09/w-m-jordan-company-and-clark-nexsen-choose-slenderwall-again/" target="_blank">two-story sections with windows preinstalled</a>, says Carl S. Ede, AIA, LEED AP, Principal and Senior Designer with three, the Dallas-based firm. About 66% lighter than traditional 6-inch-thick precast and with better thermal performance, the opaque wall sections integrate a two-inch-thick concrete panel on a frame of galvanized steel studs backed with closed-cell foam insulation. Less concrete means lower embodied carbon, too, say suppliers.</p> <p>Attached to the building frame with all-concrete floor slabs—a better choice acoustically between floors to mask footfall and other noise, says three’s Ede—the mixed-material system with brick, masonry, and glass allows for articulated transitions such as banding across glass areas that echoes Norfolk’s portside context, yet can be hoisted into place quickly in two-floor sections. The only tradeoff is crane access and operations, he adds, which building teams must consider in site staging and construction decisions.</p> <h2>How to master rainscreens</h2> <p>For another high-rise, a new 35-story glass tower in Boston for Raffles set to open this year, the use of small, portable crawler or creeper cranes allows smooth construction progress in spite of a constrained urban site. Built with a carefully tuned, unitized glass curtain wall system specifically to allow this fast, effective assembly process with the moveable cranes hanging off the structure, the Back Bay-area project for Raffles Hotels &amp; Resorts, part of AccorHotels, brings together Saunders Hotel Group and <a href="https://www.noannet.com/projects/raffles-boston-back-bay-hotel-residences/" target="_blank">developer The Noannet Group</a> for the U.S. debut of the brand’s hotel and residential concept. The building team of Suffolk Construction and The Architectural Team, along with structural engineers McNamara Salvia, resolved the tower’s cantilever structure atop a dense field of six-foot-wide caissons tied by steel plate girders, all supporting the tower with 147 guestrooms and 146 residences serviced by a program of extensive amenities.</p> <p>The new Boston tower, adjacent to the city’s most iconic tall structures, melds varied glass specifications in response to its multiple uses and performance goals for a unique expression. Other project cladding approaches, by contrast, mix materials and construction types for not only aesthetics but also to help deal with cost inflation, supply issues, and construction scheduling.</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="3A. ACAW-Images_2-2306x1164" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="618e73bb-9913-43cc-a9ed-9086a8cdd7e3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/3A.%20ACAW-Images_2-2306x1164.jpg" width="1800" height="909" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>A modular terra-cotta façade system serves as habitat for birds, bees, and plantings, made with a base module designed to resist freeze-thaw cycles. Photo courtesy CookFox</figcaption></figure><p>Among the most prevalent trends is an expanding use of rainscreens, <a href="https://rainscreenassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Press-Release-The-North-American-Construction-industry-benefits-from-the-newly-formed-Rainscreen-Association-RAiNA.pdf" target="_blank">says the Rainscreen Association in North America</a>, founded in 2020. “Over the last two decades, the building science community has pushed exterior wall assembly performance to the front of the conversation regarding overall building performance,” according to the trade group and technical resource, which <a href="https://rainscreenassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/D-188-001-rev-0-RAiNA-Technical-Bulletin-Defining-Rainscreen-Wall-Performance-1.pdf" target="_blank">defines a rainscreen</a> as “an assembly applied to an exterior wall that consists of, at minimum, an outer/inner layer and a cavity between them sufficient for the passive removal of liquid water and water vapor.” Rainscreen systems also incorporate insulation, continuous air barriers for air-tightness control, and vapor barriers or retarders for diffusion control, “a balance of wetting versus drying for the whole assembly.”</p> <p>With constrained supplies for some components, building teams are turning to rainscreen outer layers made with readily available composites of stone, wood fiber, or plastics—many of them drawing from waste streams. Examples include composite panels such as Fiberon, a substitute for thermally modified timbers or other wood panels that might be harder to source in some areas. The composite is made from locally sourced recycled plastic and captured waste wood fiber, specifying approximately 94% pre- and post-consumer recycled content. In 2021, makers of building products had been facing material shortages for certain plastics and resins, though raw material makers pushed to increase production, <a href="https://www.plasticsnews.com/news/decking-makers-step-production" target="_blank">according to plastics industry sources</a>.</p> <p>Similarly, other rainscreen cladding products such as stone composites have been in good supply. These engineered materials include panels made from fiberglass-reinforced polymer composites with a crushed limestone core, for example, and some are treated with electron-beam or EB technology and acrylic resins to produce a range of smooth, water-impermeable finishes that stand up to ultraviolet and corrosive environments. One Norwegian manufacturer, Steni, produces a line of stone composite panels with a surface of aggregated natural stones. Produced in different grades of coarseness, carefully calibrated composites of this type have a relatively low <a href="https://www.steni.com/products/product-properties/" target="_blank">carbon footprint</a> and are highly stable, resisting impact and water and vapor diffusion—basically, moisture-proof. Also of interest to designers, stone-based façade panels are flexible and so can be curved and radiused for organic building shapes.</p> <p>Strength and resiliency is a benefit of the wood-look plastic composites as well, offering “high flexural strength, which translates to maximum protection in severe weather conditions,” according to Peter Kotiadis, VP of Product Development at Fiberon. The material class is considered effective for open-joint rainscreens, which require not only highly durable materials, but also carefully detailed envelope installation.</p> <p>For the ventilation gap, for example, “Smaller spaces behind the cladding outperform larger spaces because the pressure equalization is more equal between the face of the cladding and the open joint behind the cladding in a smaller space behind the cladding than a larger space behind the cladding,” <a href="https://www.buildingscience.com/conversation/cup-joe-open-joint-cladding-systems" target="_blank">according to Joe Lstiburek</a>, an ASHRAE Fellow and Principal of Building Science Corporation.</p> <h2>Terra-cotta and cladding tech</h2> <p>With proper material choice is critical, cladding systems including rainscreens can effectively manage moisture and mitigate damage to residential and commercial structures. They also open up opportunities for more sustainable and biophilic façades. These include ways to create or extend ecosystems into the built environment, a trend that has gone from landscapes to planted roofs to other interfaces between the outside world and interior environments. Researchers led by the Museum of Natural History in Paris, for example, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989414000869#!" target="_blank">studied the ecological drivers of vegetated façades</a> and found they “offer a great potential to enhance urban biodiversity.”</p> <p>Beyond the cladding systems considered in that study—those with climbing plants, felt layers, or substrate modules such as suspended planters—new ideas in habitat are growing with unlikely materials, such as the terra-cotta collaboration led by Spencer Lapp, AIA, an Associate with CookFox, and Andre Parnther and Spring Wu, LEED AP, respectively, an Associate and a Façade Engineer with Buro Happold, and <a href="https://bostonvalley.com/buro-happold-and-cookfox-explore-biophilic-facades-at-acaw-2021/" target="_blank">manufacturer Boston Valley Terra Cotta</a>. The team devised a “modular system of slip-cast pods,” says the company, adding: “Each module is shaped to occupy a specific function in the local ecosystem: as bird nests, with proper air flow and drainage; as bee habitats, protected from the elements; and as planters, with a bottom-watering system and overflow drain.”</p> <p>The larger base modules—made with a high-fired and high-grogged ceramic that could also be press-molded for large-scale production—receive micro-habitat pots for varied uses. “This clay body is engineered to resist freeze thaw cycles, minimize shrinkage during fabrication, and is tested for the rigors inherent in façade applications,” <a href="https://cookfox.com/news/cookfox-and-buro-happold-acaw/" target="_blank">according to the building team</a>. “The micro-habitat pods are a slip-cast, low-fired clay body that allows for water permeability to support each pod’s program.” Custom glazes and pigmented clays called <a href="https://digitalfire.com/article/creating+a+non-glaze+ceramic+slip+or+engobe" target="_blank"><em>engobes</em></a> created for this cladding system offer a variety of colors, sheens, and opacities for future project teams.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, both CookFox and Buro Happold have prior experience working with terra-cotta for urban façades, which has seen a resurgence in recent years in multifamily, mixed-use, cultural, and institutional projects. Examples by others include the new One Essex Crossing, the residential component of a major, <a href="https://americas.uli.org/essex-crossing-2021-uli-americas-awards-for-excellence-finalist/" target="_blank">six-acre mixed-use development in New York City</a> focused on health and wellness, with “a contextually-inspired façade weaving together panels of warm brick and Italian terra cotta.” Built by Triton Construction and designed by CetraRuddy for developer Delancey Street Associates, the façades reveal a sunlit suite of amenities and an expansive garden.</p> <p>Availability of the material is one benefit, according to architect Ede’s firm three in Texas: “Terra-cotta panels are relatively accessible and transportable, so products made around the world, from Mexico to China to Europe, have boosted availability during recent supply logjams, which could be contributing to a more recent resurgence in interest.” On the other hand, terra-cotta is heavy and relatively costly, says San Francisco-based Lada Kocherovsky, AIA, past president of the city’s CREW chapter and Principal with Page &amp; Turnbull, an authority on new architectural design and preservation. “The use of terra cotta as ornamental material has a fascinating history, and contemporary applications are seeing renewed interest lately, including terra-cotta rainscreens in the Bay Area over recent years,” she says. “It’s beautiful and durable, though the pure cost of it, the challenges of installation, and the added weight on the structure proves to be cost prohibitive on many projects.”</p> <h2>Filtering and lightness</h2> <p>Another option for lower-weight and more economical façade systems is the insulated metal panel (IMP), which benefits from a generally robust supply and new ideas in design and constructability. Bringing improved performance and reduced environmental impact, IMPs offer tunable insulating qualities and desirable solar reflectance and infrared emittance properties that help building owner-operators lower peak energy demand and cut total energy usage.</p> <p>On top of that, metal is a highly resilient, durable cladding with panel joints shaped specifically for rainwater control effectiveness. So while IMPs can be used as a backup system behind a traditional cladding, <a href="https://americas.uli.org/essex-crossing-2021-uli-americas-awards-for-excellence-finalist/" target="_blank">the exterior layer can be omitted</a> in most applications, says Building Science Corp’s Lstiburek. “The exterior metal face of the panel protects the remainder of the assembly from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, protects the remainder of the assembly from physical damage, and typically satisfies aesthetic requirements for the application,” according to Lstiburek. “The exterior face of the insulated metal panel system integrated with drained joint assemblies addresses the rainwater control aspects of traditional cladding. The exterior face of the insulated metal panel system becomes the cladding.”</p> <figure role="group"><img alt="4. Rainscreens copy.jpg" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9de2aa06-e9d3-40cb-8691-e0fd244d664f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/4.%20Rainscreens%20copy.jpg" width="1800" height="566" loading="lazy" /><figcaption>Example rainscreen wall assemblies. Courtesy Rainscreen Association in North America</figcaption></figure><p>Effective, integral barriers are often a primary goal for enclosure design, as architect Zack Aders, AIA, LEED AP, with the nonprofit project leader New York City Economic Development Corporation, explains: “We have used passive strategies to create a tightly sealed, well-insulated envelope with high performance glazing to reduce heating and cooling loads, which is key to achieving a net positive energy building.” He adds that a whole-building blower door test at the end of construction is valuable to confirm expectations are met for air tightness.</p> <p>Yet a more recent and perhaps more radical direction in building envelopes has emerged that considers the exterior less as a barrier and more as a filter, similar to natural integuments or entire organisms that open and close to fresh air, to direct solar warming in winter, and even to controlled moisture and bulk water.</p> <p>“As structural engineers, it has been satisfying to see the results of the structural thinness of a single-layer solution, which in one case allows the gridshell to become a membrane between interior and exterior—rather than a barrier,” according to structural engineer Craig Schwitter, a Senior Partner and Global Board Chair for Buro Happold. “This environmental filter balances forces that make up the experience and the environment, creating comfort and possibility even as it engenders a sense of enticement, wonder and delight.”</p> <h2>Commissioning + Cladding = Confidence</h2> <p>To make cladding choices that promise longevity, sustainability, and optimized return on investment, more building teams are incorporating a commissioning process.</p> <p>“Commissioning has been key tool for public projects to insert accountability in meeting design criteria,” says Zack Aders, AIA, LEED AP, with the nonprofit project leader New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Envelope commissioning in particular is critical to ensure that weather-resistive barriers are applied correctly and continuously and that air sealing details perform as designed.”</p> <p>According to engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz &amp; Heger, enclosure commissioning is outlined in both LEED and ASTM E2813 to orient building teams. “To be truly effective, building enclosure commissioning should begin in the predesign phase and continue through the design, preconstruction, and construction phases of the project,” <a href="https://www.bdcnetwork.com/8-strategies-successful-building-enclosure-commissioning" target="_blank">says the firm</a>, which holds a specialty in façade engineering. ASTM E2813, for example, requires commissioning to begin during design development at minimum, and for better, enhanced commissioning, it should start in schematics.</p> <p>Beginning-to-end is the mantra for enclosure excellence: A key part of the process for enhanced commissioning, for example, is to plan for oversight during construction. This vastly improves the resolution of such challenges as constructability, material compatibility, and full continuity of insulation, or CI, and weather-resistive barriers, or WRBs.</p> <p>“Verifying these details as the building is being constructed allows us to address any gaps before the walls are closed up, helping the team avoid costly rework,” says Aders.</p> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/sponsor/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/moisture-solutions" hreflang="en">Moisture Solutions</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/10-aia-luhsw" hreflang="en">1.0 AIA LU/HSW</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-technology" hreflang="en">Building Technology</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/claddingwall-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding/Wall systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdcu/building-envelope-0" hreflang="en">Building Envelope</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/campus/bdc" hreflang="en">BD+C</a></div> </div> <div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-enclosure-systems" hreflang="en">Building Enclosure Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-materials" hreflang="en">Building Materials</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/contractors" hreflang="en">Contractors</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers" hreflang="en">Designers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/designers-specifiers-landscape-architects" hreflang="en">Designers / Specifiers / Landscape Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/engineers" hreflang="en">Engineers</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-team/architects" hreflang="en">Architects</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/building-tech" hreflang="en">Building Tech</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/cladding-and-facade-systems" hreflang="en">Cladding and Facade Systems</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/energy-efficiency" hreflang="en">Energy Efficiency</a></div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/energy-efficiency/energy-efficient-design" hreflang="en">Energy-Efficient Design</a></div> </div> <div class="uk-margin"><a href="/bdc-university-course" hreflang="en">BD+C University Course</a></div> <div class="uk-margin">Off</div> Wed, 24 Aug 2022 18:08:31 +0000 dbarista 50272 at https://www.bdcnetwork.com