Located in downtown Seattle, Western & University is a mixed-use tower that contains 168 residential units with commercial space on the ground level. The enclosure is clad primarily with a unitized window wall that provides the occupants with a scenic view of Puget Sound. The building also features anchored masonry, a street-level storefront, and both seventh-floor and rooftop terraces for residents.

We were engaged by the architect, Ankrom Moisan Architects, to review the design of the building enclosure. The scope of the project included design development for the unitized window wall, cladding, air barrier and water-resistive barrier systems, below-grade waterproofing, and roofs.

As the project progressed, our team was retained by the developer, Mack Urban Estate Development, to review the unitized window wall shop drawings, storefront shop drawings, and submittals, and to conduct field review of the building enclosure assemblies during construction.

We conducted water testing of the window wall and terrace doors and carried out code-required whole building air leakage testing. Based on the results of our testing, we were able to provide the owners with a letter of certification that the building enclosure construction was in compliance with the design documents, satisfying the requirements of RCW 64.55.

The building was completed in 2017, and both the residential and commercial spaces have now been occupied. The project demonstrates how the correct application of a unitized window wall can provide both an airtight structure and continuous panoramic views for the building’s occupants.

Date:

May 22, 2019

Clients:

Mack Urban Development, Ankrom Moisan Architects

Our Role:

Building Enclosure Consultant

Key Services

Concept Review
Field Review
Testing

Before material and systems selections are finalized, our clients benefit from a review of the building enclosure design strategies at a conceptual level. This review provides an opportunity to reflect upon the performance expectations and fundamental building science strategies behind the selection of appropriate solutions. Experience shows that changes made at the conceptual stage of building enclosure design have far greater cost-to-benefit impact than those made during late design or construction. A typical Concept Review considers the following:

  • Environmental loads
  • Energy performance targets and compliance options
  • Life cycle expectations
  • Constructability, sequencing, and complexity of detailing
  • Structural support
  • Risk Analysis

Robert Bombino | MS, PE (WA, MA)

President, Senior Building Science Specialist
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Kyle Silliker | PE

Principal, Building Science Specialist
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Bailey Brown | MS, PE

Associate, Senior Project Manager
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