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University of Virginia, Rice Hall, Charlottesville, VA

The Rice Hall Technology and Engineering Building consists primarily of six floors of research lab, office and classroom space totaling 100,000 SF.  The exterior envelope is comprised of brick veneer cavity wall with stacked and punched window curtain wall conditions, and the primary air barrier is sprayed polyurethane foam.  The project presented several unique building envelope challenges related to detailing of exterior wall conditions and material properties. 

WDP provided peer review services during the design phase, in which we reviewed drawings and specifications to identify discontinuities in the building air and moisture barrier, problematic flashing conditions, material and system performance requirements, material compatibility and adhesion concerns, and potential constructability issues.  We were also engaged to review submittals and shop drawings, perform periodic site visits to observe construction, and perform quality assurance testing of installed curtain wall, flashing, and masonry systems. 

As part of our services, WDP provided recommendations for addressing challenging conditions such as the varying cavity depths and overall wall thickness throughout the battered wall sections.  WDP performed quality assurance/mock-up testing (ASTM C1601) and provided recommendations which assisted the mason in the development of a pre-wetting plan for the brick to effectively reduce the IRA resulting in improved brick and mortar compatibility thus reducing the water penetration through the veneer.  WDP also performed quality assurance testing of the curtain wall assemblies on the mock-up and building in accordance with ASTM E1105.  Through this testing, we were able to identify issues that were negatively impacting the water infiltration resistance of the curtain wall system.