Competing Performance Criteria in Renovation and Repurposing of Existing Building Exterior Enclosure Systems

Apr 13, 2015

A building owner has decided they need to repurpose their original masonry bearing wall train station constructed in 1899, to a state of the art medical research facility including high humidity wet laboratories. Due to the new chairman’s commitment to the environment and the need for very close control of the interior temperatures for laboratory work there is also a commitment to at least meet, and hopefully exceed, the current code mandated thermal insulation. The building will also be used for high-end government contracting which mandates “blast resistant’ windows.

While the description of this building is a fabrication, it is only barely so. It is actually a conglomeration of similar conditions I have encountered on real buildings with very similar desires by owners and their architectural designers. These kinds of conditions often lead to conflicts between aesthetic desires and required performance criteria, as well as the sometimes nearly impossible task of meeting basic code and regulatory mandates. The information presented in this paper is intended to help the project teams who find themselves in similar situations discover a path to reach reasonable conclusions, and assist them in determining if the building is appropriate for the intended use.

(This entry contains a conference paper and presentation in PDF. For optimal viewing, open in Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Paul G. Johnson, FAIA, NCARB SmithGroupJJR Inc., Building Technology Studio Leader
Proceedings of the BEST4 Conference
Presented at: 
BEST4 Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
BEST4 Technical Committee, National Institute of Building Sciences

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