Saving Face

by Tom Harrison, (A.M.ASCE), Design Engineer; KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle, Washington,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 5, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Inspections revealed that the glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) and ceramic tile cladding on a wing of the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, failed and needed to be replaced. Engineers chose an aluminum cladding system as its replacement, and subjected samples from a short list of custom manufacturers to in-depth pre-bid qualifying tests. Before anchoring the aluminum panels to the existing studwork, work crews had to manually remove the GFRC and tiles from the structure, a difficult and time-consuming process. Also delaying the project was the need for all work to be done with minimal disruption to the operations inside the hospital.

Subject Headings: Tiles | Health care facilities | Cladding | Project management | Project delay | Panels (structural) | Inspection

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