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Archive for December, 2012

This architectural rendering of the Nu Skin Innovation Center shows the "penthouse airfoil" structure atop the building. The airfoil holds the building's HVAC equipment.
This architectural rendering of the Nu Skin Innovation Center shows the “penthouse airfoil” structure atop the building. The sleek structure holds the building’s HVAC equipment. illustration courtesy Nu Skin Enterprises.

This billion-dollar global direct-selling company develops and distributes more than 200 anti-aging, nutritional, and personal care products in 53 markets globally.

Located within sight of Utah’s rugged Wasatch Mountains, Nu Skin Enterprises broke ground last year for a dramatic expansion of its Provo headquarters campus. The $85 million, 164,000 square-foot Nu Skin Innovation Center is designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Seattle and is being built by Okland Construction, Salt Lake City.

The new building will house meeting rooms, an auditorium, offices, state-of-the-art research and development laboratories, a network operations center, retail space and a cafe — all connected by a four-story skylit atrium. The Innovation Center also features state-of-the-art custom PROSOCO R-GUARD air and water barriers behind its bright metal exterior, including the striking “penthouse airfoil” topping the Center.

The airfoil, so-called because of its aerodynamic shape, contains the building’s HVAC equipment and other mechanicals, said Dan Painter, Steel Encounters, Salt Lake City, who was responsible for the building’s metal cladding.

The airfoil is about 45 feet wide, 20 feet tall and has four-and-a-half bays of 33 feet each, Dan said. Subccontractor Grant Christlieb, Specialty Systems, Salt Lake City, installed a FastFlash air & waterproof barrier system on the airfoil after the specified peel and stick had issues with slipperiness.

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Three stages in the construction of the airfoil’s envelope: It starts with the corrugated metal under-skin. Metal panels, roughly 4 x 5 feet are then bolted onto the wrap. Seams and bolts are covered with waterproof, heat-resistant FastFlash liquid flashing. Then, the entire sheathing is covered with tan Cat 5 primary air & waterproof barrier. The vapor-permeable, self-sealing barrier has enough durability and tack to allow Steel Encounters crewmembers to work on it, fastening the steel shingles that will clad the airfoil. photo courtesy Specialty Systems.

Workers weren't able to stand on the peel and stick to install the airfoil's metal cladding, Grant said. They could get no foot-traction on the laminated surface. Likewise, the metal tongue-and-groove shingles making up the cladding kept slipping off the peel and stick, under the influence of gravity, before they could be fastened.

"So we looked for a tape to hold the shingles," Grant said. "But the tape had to be rated for 240 degrees fahrenheit."

Engineers expected the metal shingles to get blazingly hot under the intense Provo sun at 4500 feet above sea level. "They probably wouldn't reach 240 degrees," Grant said, "but that's what was specified. We looked everywhere but 180 degrees was the best we could find.

"Gene Bollinger from PROSOCO happened to be in town, and he said 'Why don't you just Cat 5 it?'"

Fluid-applied PROSOCO R-GUARD Cat 5 Primary Air & Waterproof Barrier is tested and proven to withstand the 155 mph wind-driven rain of Category 5 hurricanes. But it has also passed ASTM E84 flame testing, and passed NFPA 285 as part of a foam insulation wall assembly.

PROSOCO conducted its own heat-resistance test, as well. Project Testing Director Courtney Murdock cooked a Cat 5 sample in the laboratory oven for 24 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. She documented no change in the sample’s appeareance or physical performance characteristics after the test.

Even when cured, ultra-durable Cat 5 exhibits a slight tack, so workers had no trouble treading on the air barrier or setting the shingles in place for fastening.

Waterproof, durable Cat 5 Primary Air & Waterproof Barrier goes on the "penthouse airfoil" atop the under-construction Nu Skin Innovation Center. Though named for its ability to withstand Category 5 hurricane conditions, Cat 5 was chosen for this project also because of its heat-resistant and slip-resistant characteristics.

Waterproof, durable Cat 5 Primary Air & Waterproof Barrier goes on the “penthouse airfoil” atop the under-construction Nu Skin Innovation Center. Though named for its ability to withstand Category 5 hurricane conditions, Cat 5 was chosen for this project also because of its heat-resistant and slip-resistant characteristics. photo courtesy of Specialty Systems

Fortunately, Grant said, all this took place on a mock-up at Steel Encounter’s headquarters facility. Dan and Grant had seen enough, however, and brought in the PROSOCO R-GUARD system for the entire building.

In addition to the heat-resistant characteristics needed for the penthouse airfoil, the PROSOCO R-GUARD air and water barrier system will stop air leaks through the building envelope. It creates a seamless, continuous, durable, yet vapor-permeable barrier to air and water, from roof to foundation.

Stopping air leaks through seams, pinholes, penetrations and rough openings will contribute to the energy-effciency the building needs to attain a rating of LEED Silver. The air and water barrier will also prevent water intrusion.

“It’s one of the best systems I’ve seen,” Dan said.

The Nu Skin Innovation Center occupancy is set for 2013.

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