The Library of Virginia and State Archives, located in Richmond, Virginia, is a six-story building constructed on a two-story below-grade parking garage. The building footprint encompasses an entire city block. The exterior façade of the building consists of a variety of exterior cladding components supported by a steel strong-back system. The first floor was constructed with granite panels that slope toward a ledge extending around most of the building perimeter. The remainder of the building is clad with limestone panels, window walls, and aluminum panel curtain wall systems. Many of the cladding elements primarily rely on sealant joints between wall components forming a “barrier” type water management system. Both silicone and urethane sealant products were used, depending on the substrate to which they were adhered.
WDP has conducted several independent on-site investigations at the request of the Department of General Services to determine the cause of reported water infiltration at locations throughout the building by occupants. Exterior surfaces were surveyed to identify visible deficiencies in the exterior panels, roofing, and window systems. A visual inspection of the entire building was conducted to determine areas that present the potential for water infiltration issues while more detailed inspections were conducted at areas adjacent to the testing locations. A survey of the interior finishes of the building was performed to identify and document locations of previous water intrusion and damage. Water testing in accordance with ASTM E1105 and AAMA 501.2 was performed to diagnose leak paths and evaluate the fenestration. Inspection openings were conducted at specific locations in an effort to recreate the reported leakage and trace the water paths from exterior building components onto the interior surfaces of the building.
Based on the investigation and testing, WDP provided repair recommendations to resolve the building leakage. Recommendations included specific repairs to the fenestration, masonry curtain wall and metal roofing/panel systems, as well as the implementation of a regular sealant maintenance and replacement plan to minimize the effect of the sealant reliant design on the building.
ServicesFaçade Investigation & RepairBuilding Science & Enclosure Consulting
Andrew W. Wagner, P.E., Associate, Central Virginia Division Manager
Department of General Services | Ballou Justice Upton Architects