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April 17, 2015

Exterior Commercial (Oregon)
Public Utility Commission Building

Photo courtesy of Billings & Cronn Co.
Salem’s Public Utility Commission Building received a new exterior envelope with a full rain screen and insulation.

Location: Salem

Contractor: Billings & Cronn Co.

Architect: Studio 3 Architecture

Team: BMI Products, Fortifiber, Fry Reglet, Georgia-Pacific, Knez Building Material Co., R-Factor/Service Partners, Steeler Construction Supply, Structa Wire Corp.

Renovation of the Public Utility Commission Building in Salem included a new exterior envelope, full roof replacement, improved roof insulation, energy-efficient windows, and flashing replacement. The exterior envelope was designed to resemble the current finish but incorporated a full rain screen and improved exterior insulation under a stucco finish.

One half of the existing 31,000-square-foot structure consisted of concrete walls of stucco and an exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS). The other half had existing stud framing with gypsum sheathing, EIFS and stucco.

The entire facade was removed down to the concrete and stud framing. The existing concrete walls were crooked with variances of almost 5 inches.

The structural engineer designed a special “Z-furring” system with adjustable clips to gain flat and plumb walls. All faces of the structural Zs and studs were covered with DensGlass Gold, and a weather barrier was applied before the final level of Z furring.

Stucco was applied over Mega Lath with two layers of 60-minute Fortifiber over PermaBase cement board. Radius walls presented a special challenge, solved with curved horizontal Fry Reglet Channel Screed moldings. The finished stucco system was covered with an elastomeric coating.

The end result has a similar appearance to the former facade and is designed to keep water out of the building.

Judge’s comment: “Imagine a 100-year-old Sears with multiple uneven additions on sloping elevations and a 25-year-old unmaintained EIFS exterior being updated and used as a state agency. With dogged determination, Billings & Cronn produced a pristine project beyond the state’s expectations.”

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