Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Condominium Window and Stucco Remediation

Kings Square is a four story condominium project built in the early 1980's. It has been through two previous remediation upgrades involving window and stucco degradation issues. After all of this, they started to notice more issues starting around 2005. As a result starting in 2006, the homeowner's association had a series of forensic investigations done to identify why the were seeing more problems. In 2009 we were commissioned to develop a new remediation design based on what that study found.

What was found was that during the two previous remediation projects an impermeable membrane, or cold side vapor barrier, had been installed over the exterior plywood sheathing along with a stucco coating with an elastomeric coating and sealing of all the stucco joints. As a result, whenever water got into the stucco, either through failing windows, bad flashing details, or pinholes in the stucco finish they would see a bubbling in the stucco finish since the water had no place to escape. Our approach to the project was to see if the impermeable membrane could be kept since it would be very expensive to replace and require removing the existing building sheathing.

At the start of the project we conducted an investigation of the impermeable membrane with a series of test holes to see if there were any signs of moisture damage on the interior face of the sheathing. Luckily we did not find any, so we developed a design that called for keeping the impermeable membrane after drilling holes in it along with the installation of a new rain screen stucco system in combination with a rain screen fiber cement siding system. A prefinished metal cornice was added to portions of the building to articulate the plain and boxy original design. Also since the existing metal clad wood windows were failing, they were replaced with fiberglass windows along with adding a new waterproofing system, tile, and guardrail to the unit terraces. The building's dark and dated main entry was redesigned with a lightweight steel framework topped with glass skylights for an airy feel. The interior atrium was upgraded creating a more sophisticated atmosphere in keeping with the value of the units.

The project started in June of 2010 and was completed in March 2011 and within the homeowners association's budget.

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