CHRISTUS Envelope Restoration

Posted by on: July 1, 2021 5 AM

Chamberlin revitalized the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Pavilion in downtown San Antonio, Texas, and resolved persistent water intrusion issues.

The CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Pavilion in downtown San Antonio, Texas, is a medical office building encompassing 146,402 square feet of office space with about 75 percent of the building encased in tall glass windows. The lower seven floors of the structure house over 600 parking spots. Built in 1986, the high rise was now experiencing water intrusion and was in need of rejuvenation. Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing was selected as the prime contractor to restore the skin of the building by cleaning, wet glazing and sealing the envelope plus repairing precast panel joints in the parking garage.

The restoration crew began by pressure washing the building to prepare the substrate for the 54,000 square feet of new BASF EL 750 elastomeric coating they installed with hand rollers. Failing horizontal and vertical joint tape was also repaired on the stucco facade. They coated the 7,000-square-foot mansard roof with a primer base coat followed by a silicone coating. A cut out and re-caulk was performed on the window perimeters, which began with the removal of existing sealant from the metal frame to stucco conditions and preparation of the joints for installation of new sealant. Chamberlin’s skilled technicians then installed new backing material where needed to the manufacturer’s specified depth-to-width ratio, filled the joints with high performance silicone sealant and hand tooled the sealant for proper joint configuration, adhesion and a watertight seal. Additionally, they removed the weathered silicone sealants from the window zipper gasket intersections and installed a new sealant. To conclude the skin restoration, Chamberlin crews replaced wet glazing at the glass to frame conditions on over 450 windows. On the parking levels, crew members repaired 6,800 linear feet of joint tape on precast panel joints and installed elastomeric coating for additional water intrusion protection.

PROACTIVE PROTECTION

The pavilion was occupied during construction and busy with patients and staff coming and going throughout the weeks. Multiple businesses operate out of this space such as Central Women’s Health Care, CentroMed Clinic and Center for Maternal and Fetal Care who provide medical services ranging from genetic counseling to behavioral health, lab services and surgical treatments. Located in dense downtown San Antonio, the medical office shares a block with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Family Health Center and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. It is also less than 300 feet from busy Interstates 10 and 35. These locale and operational factors presented pedestrian and vehicular safety concerns during the restoration process.

Before and after: Chamberlin cleaned the building envelope and restored the weathered, delaminated existing coating with a new elastomeric coating.

During installation of the elastomeric coating, care was taken to protect cars in the parking levels and in surrounding areas from coating that could drip or get caught in the wind. Much of this work was performed at night when there was less traffic. Also, Chamberlin obtained permission from an adjacent doctor’s office to block off parking spots in their lot that were susceptible to damage. Furthermore, during the cut out and re-caulk of the window perimeters, an overhead protection system was constructed out of lumber and scaffold over the entrance and exits of the parking levels to act as a shield for any possible falling debris. These points of entry plus the ambulance parking court could not be blocked during business hours. Chamberlin restoration technicians worked on those areas after hours and on weekends to complete their work during decreased traffic times.

RIGGING SOLUTIONS

The entire building envelope scope was completed from swing stages with multiple drops. A mansard roof about eight feet high lining the perimeter of the building’s roof posed a rigging challenge for the swing stages. Chamberlin worked with Big City Access to design a rigging system that could extend over the mansard roof. Extended outriggers were the solution, and over two dozen drops were completed safely. In fact, the project concluded with zero safety incidents.

The mansard roof held a second challenge for the Chamberlin crew when it came time to apply the elastomeric coating to the standing seam metal roof. The seams were originally sealed with a bead of silicone on each side, so a coating that would adhere to metal and silicone would be necessary. Chamberlin’s project manager researched options and created numerous mock-ups before choosing a GE Endurance Silicone from Everest, a Houston-based roof coating company. This solution was cost-efficient for the owner, as cutting out the existing silicone would have been costly.

The window gasket system was severely deteriorated in some areas, allowing possible locations for water intrusion.

SUCCESSFUL RESTORATION

Time was of the essence to the new owners who acquired the pavilion just before construction kicked off. One of their goals for the revitalization was to make the building more appealing for new tenants to fill the unoccupied suites, and they wanted them leased as quickly as possible. Chamberlin utilized two swing stages that started in the northwest corner of the building and worked in opposite directions of each other until they met together again in the end. The restoration of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Pavilion was completed in just six months.

The owner appreciated the expedience and the aesthetic outcome of the renovation. The elastomeric coating turned the mansard roof from red to gray and the facade from beige to a bright white. The coating refreshed the envelope’s appearance and the color scheme modernized the building’s look. 

The main concern, however, was the persistent leaks. The owner wanted to alleviate the inconvenience to their tenants as soon as possible and with a long-term solution. Chamberlin’s work on the window perimeter seals, gasket systems and building facade left it watertight. Even after a wet spring, Chamberlin has not been called back for water infiltration since the project concluded.

Chamberlin Vice President and General Manager Adam Matthys shared his feelings about the success of the project. "This was a very high profile project because it is located right off of the freeway of the IH-10/I-35 merger in downtown San Antonio. It was a pleasure working with this owner because their team has a strong background in construction, which makes our job easier when we have things that pop up unexpectedly. They were always willing to listen to our concerns and were very flexible to ensure that they received exactly what they paid for all while keeping our guys safe every day. Chamberlin's Senior Project Estimator Nick Flory worked countless hours ahead of being awarded the project to put together a scope of work that fit within their budget and provided them with a leak-free and aesthetically pleasing building. Once the scope was agreed on, we installed an in-place mockup on a section of the building to make sure the owner was 100% on board with our approach. Chamberlin’s operations team including Brett Schropp, John Walker and Noe Soto all worked very hard during construction to ensure we completed the work without any injuries and under budget."

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