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May 5, 2023


Photo by Tim Griffith
Most of the 194 exterior enclosure panels were prefabricated off-site.

Foster School of Business Founders Hall

Location: Seattle

Contractor: Performance Contracting

Architect: LMN Architects

Team: Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association; Northwest Carpenters Union; CWallA; Foundation Building Materials; GTS Interior Supply; L&W Supply; Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel; Service Partners; Armstrong World Industries; Cemco; Dryvit Systems; Fry Reglet Corp.; F-Sorb; Georgia-Pacific; Hamilton Drywall Products; Hilti; Scafco Steel Stud Co.; Simpson Strong-Tie; Trim-Tex; USG Building Systems

Founders Hall is a state-of-the art, 85,000-square-foot building addition to the University of Washington campus to support the Foster School of Business, which serves over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The five-story building was the first on the UW campus to incorporate a mass timber structure, inclusive of both cross-laminated timber decks and glulam wood beams and columns. The new Foster School of Business building includes additional classrooms, offices, team rooms, meeting rooms and large common areas to expand the currently operating Paccar and Dempsey halls.

Performance Contracting was on the project for two years, starting with preconstruction review and collaboration with the design team, the general contractor and other primary subcontractors through coordination meetings. Building information models (BIM) were used to model the exterior metal stud-framed panels as well as coordinate the interior walls and associated MEP. The scopes of work included interior and exterior metal stud framing, gypsum board assemblies, exterior sheathing, air and water-resistive barrier, thermal and batt insulation, spray-applied fireproofing, intumescent fireproofing, access doors, direct-applied plaster, acoustical ceiling assemblies, stretch fabric panels and sound-absorbing wall panels.

Through the exterior preconstruction review and collaboration, PCI was able to prefabricate a majority of the exterior enclosure panels by modeling each prefabricated panel and creating a “panel ticket” that details the layout, location, stud spacing, stud size, etc., of each component in order for the panels to be fabricated at an off-site location in a controlled environment. The project included a total of 194 exterior panels, with a total of 27 unique panel types.

Through the early coordination process, PCI was able to incorporate the traditional components of a prefabricated exterior panel as well as the 3/16-inch steel support brackets intended to carry the entire load of the brick facade. The benefit of incorporating the brick ledger into the panel was to remove the continuous weather- and air-barrier penetration caused by the brick ledger if it was required to attach to the structure. Once incorporated into the panel, no additional penetrations, except minor MEP penetrations, were created through the exterior walls, thus maintaining the integrity of the building enclosure. The prefabricated panels and the pre-applied (WAB) sheathing, which denied further impacts to the interior build-out typically caused by inclement weather, was an enormous benefit to the project.

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