Over the past eight years Williams Engineering (WE) has had the pleasure of providing building envelope services for the Qualex Group of Companies. Recently WE provided consulting engineering services from concept to completion for three high-rise tower developments located in Calgary, Alberta. These condominiums include Stella, Nova, and Luna Condominiums.
Our services entailed the design review of the building envelope and roofing detail drawings that were provided by BKDI Architects at the 50% and 95% stages. The design review portion of this project included WE providing written recommendations for possible detail improvements as well as design consultation. At the project meetings WE addressed design elements and various building envelope construction items that required specific attention, monitoring, or sequencing. The final building envelope design consisted of a panelized exterior insulation finish system. This innovative design was the first of its kind to be used in Calgary.
“The building has the first panel exterior insulation finish in Alberta, which substantially sped up contribution. The first tower alone saved four months of construction time.” – Randy Smith, Engineering Manager, Building Science
During the pre-construction review, WE reviewed product data and material samples provided by the panel manufacturer in addition to thermal simulations, mock-ups, and testing. The design team worked closely together to identify energy efficiency measures and resolve existing building envelope issues as well as conduct quality control plant inspections of the window and panel manufacturing facilities.
“The detailing of the panels was extensive and extremely important so that the panels matched with all other systems that were in place. Many mock ups were required to ensure that everyone understood the detail involved in order to proceed with construction.” – Randy Smith, Engineering Manager, Building Science
During construction, WE focused its review on the roofing system, parapets, construction joints, detailing of the air barrier, tie-ins between various building envelope components, and contractor workmanship. WE also consulted with both the contractor and the sub-contractor regarding the construction process and provided comments and recommendations based on the site mock-up reviews. Commissioning of the building envelope was conducted through on-site inspections and testing.
“This is a very innovative technology that required detailed analyses of connection and system details, it also required a very attentive contractor and site supervisor who needed to jump through a lot of hoops in order to get this project done. Valuable lessons were learned and carried over to each of the three towers.” – Randy Smith, Engineering Manager, Building Science