When your building exhibits igns of severe cladding degra- dation and widespread leakage
impacting the interior, it might be time to
consider recladding. But this process can
lead to critical mistakes along the way
that impact the integrity of your building.
What do you need to do to make sure
your building is properly clad?
The Roles of Facility Managers
One major misconception about
recladding is that facility managers
are to blame for the degradation of
the exterior elements of a building.
However, it is quite rare for the actions
Keys to Ensuring a Sensible
RATIONAL PRESERVATION OF EXTERIORS PREVENTS
exterior elements of a building, as those
efforts can boost longevity and appearance, but it can be a difficult battle to
win if critical mistakes were made during design and installation.
“If you have a poorly designed or
installed cladding system, you might
need to maintain it every six months,
but beyond that it becomes a heroic
effort to try to overcome the poor
design,” explains Lukes.
The best thing you can do during a
cladding project is to maintain strong
oversight throughout the entire process,
“I’ve been doing on-site construction
inspections for 35 years. I have not yet
walked off a site once where everything
has been correctly installed,” says Lukes.
“One thing I would stress to facility
managers or those designing buildings
is that it doesn’t matter how well you
design them unless you have someone
Special Recladding Challenges
Despite this focus on proper design
and installation, there is often a desire
to maintain the building to the exact
specifications of its original construction. This often leads to many projects
eventually recreating the same problems down the line.
“The misconception is often assum-
ing that the original architect was an
all-knowing demigod incapable of mak-
ing errors,” says Lukes. “Historic pres-
ervation boards are typically insistent
on preserving the existing materials
and methods even when preserving
the existing materials is many times as
costly and produces vastly lesser results
than replacing these with similar, but
“They also typically insist on dupli-
cating the existing design even when
that design contains obvious technical
flaws the original architect would no
doubt want to correct if afforded the
opportunity,” Lukes adds.
Lukes has seen firsthand the problems of following the original plans for
a building too closely. In one project, a
preservation board insisted on patching
sandstone, which had become dangerously degraded. This patchwork would
have only provided roughly five more
years before it would require more work,
Lukes explains. Conversely, pre-cast
concrete sills could have provided a century of maintenance-free life and can be
made to look like the original sandstone.
www.buildings.com BUILDINGS 17
THE ALASKA STATE CAPITOL was in
dire need of recladding. The original
masonry was ill equipped for Juneau’s
environment, and the building needed
a seismic retrofit.
THE DESIGN TEAM CHOSE TO RECONSTRUCT THE CLADDING with materials
that were better suited to the harsh
Alaskan conditions, but it was important
to replicate the original aesthetic.
or inactions of an FM to necessitate a
“Facility managers typically take care
of buildings after they are built, and
many people who are not that familiar
with building enclosure systems often
blame leakage and other cladding
problems on inadequate maintenance,”
says Paul Lukes, Owner of PAUL LUKES:
Building Envelope Consulting Services
LLC in Seattle. “In my experience, this is
almost never the case, and essentially
all such problems reflect flaws in the
Lukes adds that this does not mean
FMs should neglect maintenance of the