Avoiding weather delays and late completion penalties challenge
Hilton Worldwide is scheduled to open 60 new Hilton Garden Inn® hotels this year with 250 additional locations in the development pipeline. When these projects are completed, it will have more than 700 properties in 31 countries. One of the newest properties is in Arlington, Texas. While Arlington receives only about 38 inches of rain a year, the design-build team knew that bad weather could delay the schedule and potentially expose the project owners to late-completion penalties.
Project Manager Larry Kellogg was looking for a way to get this project dried-in more quickly. When representatives from Georgia-Pacific Gypsum visited general contractor J. Wales Construction to introduce the DensElement™ Barrier System, Kellogg thought it might offer the solution.
“We were in the process of changing the specification,” said Kellogg. “And we probably would have ended up with Georgia-Pacific DensGlass® Sheathing and roll-on waterproofing.”
However, with the DensElement™ Barrier System, construction professionals could take advantage of an all-in-one weather barrier system that integrates a water-resistive barrier and air barrier (WRB-AB) directly into a fiberglass mat gypsum sheathing panel for edge-to-edge protection.
After weighing different materials and strategies, Kellogg decided to use the DensElement™ Barrier System. He was confident the system would perform, since it represented a further evolution of DensGlass® Sheathing, the industry’s number one fiberglass mat gypsum sheathing panel.
With the DensElement™ Barrier System, he saw an opportunity to accelerate a critical step in the build process while eliminating the need for a separate waterproofing contractor.
“Using the DensElement™ Barrier System put everything in the drywall contract and eliminated one extra construction step,” said Kellogg “You are waterproofed and dried-in once it is up.”
“Faster dry-ins allow contractors to immediately begin insulating and drywalling a building’s interior spaces,” said GP Gypsum building envelope technical manager Barry Reid. “Because the DensElement™ Barrier System combines water-resistive and air barriers, it is a very resilient product. That is why GP can provide a 12-month limited exposure warranty against deterioration or delamination.”
All Around Commercial Construction, a Texas-based company, won the contract to complete the hotel’s exterior sheathing.
“DensGlass® Sheathing is usually the default product for commercial building in our area,” said Brian Caruso, project manager for All Around Commercial Construction. “This meant there was only a small learning curve for the switch to DensElement™ Sheathing as part of the system.”
Most of that learning curve involved mastering the application process for PROSOCO’s R-Guard® FastFlash® liquid flashing. Zak Wilske, a PROSOCO representative, helped Caruso’s sheathing installers become proficient waterproofers with less than an hour of hands-on training.
“Drywall contractors know how to caulk and spread joint compound,” Wilske said. “Learning how to apply FastFlash® liquid flashing is a similar process – especially since the material is easy to visually inspect for under-application.”
Unlike some products, FastFlash® liquid flashing does not need fiberglass mesh tape to bond… and it can be applied in damp or rainy conditions.
The system’s two-step installation process means contractors can dry-in projects without applying building wraps, thin or thick fluid-applied membranes, peel-and-stick membranes, or other additional WRBAB layers. Installers only have to seal fasteners, panel joints, openings, and penetrations. A time-motion study by Home Innovation Research Labs™ found the DensElementTM Barrier System saves subcontractors significant project time by eliminating the need for a full fluid-applied WRB-AB product.
“Other air and water barriers can be extremely labor intensive to install correctly,” said Wilske. “Proper detailing is hard and can vary greatly from system to system.” “We’ve been waiting for a product like this,” said Kellogg. “The DensElement™ Barrier System allowed us to start on the interior before the building’s cladding was on. It worked just like I thought it would and gave us a little leg up on the schedule.” He added that J. Wales Construction is planning several design-build projects that might benefit from the DensElement™ Barrier System and he plans to advocate for using it.