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May 6, 2022


Photo courtesy of Cooper Howard
The Alta Art Tower mixed-use project includes 314 residential units along with ground and rooftop amenity areas.

Alta Art Tower

Location: Portland

Contractor: Western Partitions

Architect: Ankrom Moisan Architects

Team: Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters; CWallA; L&W Supply; Spears Construction Supply; Georgia-Pacific; Hilti; Scafco Steel Stud Co.; STI Firestop; USG Building Systems

Located in the heart of the Goose Hollow District of Portland, the Alta Art Tower is an impressive 21-story building. This mixed-use project includes 314 residential units along with ground and rooftop amenity areas.

The Alta Art Tower is one of the first buildings in the Pacific Northwest to utilize an engineered prefabricated and pre-clad rainscreen system for the exterior of the building. The panelized wall assembly included all framing, sheathing, weather barrier and Corium brick cladding. The tower has a total of 914 exterior panels designed and prefabricated by Western Partitions. By incorporating the cladding onto the prefabricated panels, once the panels were set, no exterior access was required to finish the panel system.

The tower includes 19 floors of the exterior brick rainscreen facade. The Western Partitions team utilized Scafco’s exterior steel studs to build the panels, along with pre-sprayed Dens Deck sheathing with Grace Perm-a-Barrier. The team installed the Z-furring, insulation and steel trays to the panels before it installed each Corium brick and grouted the panel to complete it.

This project began right at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed many challenges in procuring materials from overseas. The Western Partitions team navigated ocean and air-freight options with ports around the globe that were backed up with reduced vessels. The team looked for alternative means to support the project schedule, including expediting material in partial shipments, trucking the material from the East Coast to the West Coast, and flying in the material from overseas.

The Western Partitions teams, both at prefab and on-site, worked together to develop a plan to build, deliver and install these panels as efficiently as possible in a tight downtown area of Northwest Portland. By using a Spyder crane, the crew was able to fly upwards of 20 panels a day. Through collaborative efforts with both Andersen Construction and Wood Partners, the exterior envelope was completed in nearly eight months while chasing concrete pours above.

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