With costs of facade cladding reaching 12-15% of commercial building costs, (equal to the mechanical services costs) the need for an experienced Consultant on the Design Team is an essential requirement.
What is lacking in buildings that show defects in the form of water entry, degradation of materials, spalling, and formation of condensation, is technology. True technology is the understanding of materials and their suitability for the purpose they are intended, and the compatibility between them and their long term behaviour in their assembly.
The typical service we perform is to take the architect’s design and facade elevations and produce a set of drawings with concise details, forming a set of tender drawings together with a detailed specification of materials, workmanship, performance and testing requirements. Testing of systems is by means of the CSIRO SIROWET testing methods on prototype sections or on actual buildings and to AS/NZS 4284.
Testing of pressure equalised and drained joint designs would be done by the application of an external pressure box and water spray. This was developed by the CSIRO in the early 1970s. In the case of single seal assemblies the internal suction box with outside water spray is the appropriate method.
Following the calling of tenders we analyse the submissions to determine the best contractor for the complex works, including any modifications to fabrication processes that are offered by the tenderers. These are then tested against our own details and specifications.
The checking of final shop drawings from the fabricator is then followed by Quality Assurance programs in the fabrication yards.
Much of our work also deals with diagnostic analysis of the water tightness of existing building skins that have shown deficiencies in masonry, stone, metal and glass. By our in-house computer program, we establish a temperature-gradient graph to show if condensation is taking place.
Waterproofing of roofs should not be left to sub-contractors without an input in establishing details and descriptions of penetrations and connection to parapets and eaves. The same applies to balconies.
In the case of water tightness of basement construction, we produce connection details, movement joints and membrane selections as well as drainage designs and the associated specifications.
Our Clients and Service
The firm makes extensive use of computers and CAD and is able to use programs created in-house for cladding design in stone, glass and metal.
Our major clients are building owners, developers, contractors and architects, and include large financial investment institutions and government agencies.
Our clients include:
- Building owners
- Project managers
- Property developers
- Cladding fabricators
Our service may comprise any combination of the following:
- Cladding system design
- Evaluation of cladding systems for hygrothermal performance
- Calculation of R-values, temperature and dew point gradients
- Identification of potential water ingress problems
- Identification of potential condensation problems
- Detail and design drawings
- Design drawing and specification review
- Performance specification and detailing
- Preliminary structural calculations
- Arrangement of field testing
- Supervision of mock-up construction and testing
- Review of shop drawings
- Periodic site inspections
- Creation of a maintenance program
- Field investigative inspection
- Recommendation or evaluation of recommended repair procedures
- Expert testimony
- Due diligence reports
- Building code compliance checking
Some of Our Projects
ANZ Bank, Melbourne
Nauru House, Melbourne
The over-cladding of the 52 storey Nauru House – 80 Collins Street, Melbourne (1994). PVF2 finished 4mm aluminium sheet.
50 Bridge Street Sydney
Facade repairs and reseal (1995).
AMP Centre, Sydney
AMP Circular Quay Sydney
Facade repairs and reseal (1997).
56 Pitt Street Sydney
Full overcladding (1998). Painted composition board.
Due diligence reports on major buildings for investment institutions in several states.
Overseas consultancy on the use of cladding materials, their detailing and fixing.
Avaya House, 123 Epping Road, North Ryde
Detailing of a ten storey double-glazed curved facade at 123 Epping Road, North Ryde NSW (2000).
2-4 Lyon Park Road, North Ryde
Facade detailing for a five storey office building at 2-4 Lyon Park Road, North Ryde NSW (2001).
Detailing for Water: Why Do Buildings Leak?
Steady deterioration of building Standards in respect to flashings and DPC. Details of how to resolve water entries in domestic and commercial buildings and their basements, exterior walls. The “3” points of ‘outer rain screen’ the ‘drained cavity’ and the ‘inner air seal system’. Curtain walls and flat roofs. Waterproofing membranes. Tanking membranes. Ground drainage in and around buildings. IRMA flat roof insulation methods on page 61 detail 2d. German flat roof details, vapour barrier and membrane. Glazing detailing and constructions of windows and curtainwalls. Produced for an Australian national seminar tour to 10 cities in 2007. In 2010, the New Zealand Institute of Architects did the same in 3 cities. Total attendances in AU 650, in NZ 700.
Detailing for Water: Why Do Buildings Leak? Supplement 2014
The second volume of the 2007 book “Detailing for water: Why do buildings leak?” specifically deals with the problems of tree root penetrations on “green” roofs as experienced in Australia and the waterproofing of terraces, balconies and planter boxes. Basement tanking details. Efflorescence forming on paving and steps. Details of CSIRO methods “Drained joint designs” as applied to claddings. Details show the construction of load bearing and non-loadbearing exterior concrete panel walls and the application of the pressure equalised drained joint system (PEDJ) developed by the Canadian Research in Ottawa in 1968-1973. Thermal Bridge detailing of curtain walls and windows. Window sub sill details.
Detailing for Water: Why Do Buildings Leak? Weather Tightness versus Condensation in Buildings
This third volume of the 2007 book “Detailing for water: Why do buildings leak?” specifically deals with understanding the difference between the weathertightness aspects of buildings (keeping the rain out) and condensation that is caused from excessive water vapour inside buildings attempting to pass out of the space via walls and roof. What is a vapour barrier and where to place it? New ways of insulating walls to avoid condensation. Condensation takes place both in hot and in cold climates. The correct placement of suitable barriers and insulation material becomes vital. The book deals with Australian and NZ conditions and includes a section on freezer room insulation.