Our new architectural sales specialist Joelle Lattimer visited Seattle June 27-29 to meet with our FastFlash Air & Waterproof Barrier partners there, and get briefed on the under-construction ultra-green Bullitt Center. Here’s her report.
Sleepless in Seattle, but energized!
by Joelle Lattimer, P.E.
I was excited to be afforded the opportunity by PROSOCO recently to meet some of the beautiful minds at Tatley-Grund. Tatley-Grund was first introduced to me through numerous conversations, and it was great to finally put some faces to the renowned construction repair company that pioneered PROSOCO’s FastFlash air and waterproof barrier products — products being used on Seattle’s Bullitt Center, designed to be one of the greenest buildings ever.
They also developed the Design Verification Test Chamber which tests wall assembly mock-ups for air and water leakage under real-life conditions, up to and including a simulated category 5 hurricane. If there are weaknesses in the assembly, the testing finds them — before construction starts, which is definitely when you want to find them.
The trip to Seattle was a perfect blessing after the hot weather in Kansas, but I quickly recognized that the cool, wet environment in Seattle is a remarkable building block for any performance-based “real-life” assessment of air and water barriers. The weather variance and “colder” temperatures were apparent on my last day, as I wore a sweater and an insulated North Face jacket at the end of June.
Mr. Stacey Grund, of Tatley-Grund, presented me with a speed course in moisture-related constructability issues and awe-inspiring engineering repair details during a tour of construction projects in the Seattle area.
My favorite project, and one I’ll continue to follow is the Bullitt Center, where crews were installing a phthalate-free version of PROSOCO R-Guard Cat 5 primary air and waterproof barrier to help the building achieve designation as a “living building” — certification achieved by only three buildings, so far.
Fluid-applied Cat 5 is proven to keep water out of structural walls and CMU backup, even under Category 5 hurricane conditions (hence its name), even before the cladding goes up. At the same time, it’s vapor-permeable, so if the walls get wet inside from some other means, like a roof leak, they have the potential to dry out again.
Along with being durable and breathable, the monolithically adhered primary air and waterproof barrier is also continuous and integral to the structure. While water vapor can evaporate out, the air and the liquid water that cause high energy costs and damage can’t leak through Cat 5-treated walls.
Tatley-Grund’s experience with repairing water-damaged, energy-inefficient buildings led them to create products like Cat 5 that don’t damage buildings the way many traditional air and water barrier products do, by trapping moisture or letting air leak through walls. Their “been there, done that” experience makes Tatley-Grund a valuable resource for the architects and waterproofing specialists with whom they are in daily contact.
These construction specialists are effectively communicating waterproof and energy-efficient design concepts to design professionals, owners, occupants, and the public — concepts which are the future of our industry. It was emphasized to me when we passed a billboard displaying “1-800-Water Damage” just how prevalent water damage in buildings has become, and how important it is to prevent.
I came away encouraged to know that owners, design professionals, engineers, construction teams and subcontractors are determined to improve building performance of their projects by adopting emerging technology like Cat 5, and “real world” testing to ensure buildings meet/exceed energy-efficiencies and sustainability goals.
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