Walker’s building envelope experts prioritize your project goals, including budget and schedule, to offer customized and cost-efficient solutions for both new and existing buildings.
The building envelope is the primary line of defense against exterior elements and plays critical roles in a building’s energy performance, occupant comfort, and aesthetics. From initial design throughout a building’s service life, building envelope systems require specialized knowledge and experience to ensure continuity, durability, and performance.
Through experience with forensic investigation in which we uncover errors, and new construction design in which we learn the latest information and technologies, Walker’s building envelope experts bring a practical consulting approach to each unique project and client.
WHAT WE DO
Comprehensive Building Envelope Consulting
Buildings are subjected to all aspects of their environment: Temperature, climate, and geomorphic events all affect a building’s performance. Walker’s experienced staff of architects and engineers assist with the design of new and existing building components to minimize potential distress or failures.
Walker provides design services for all exterior building systems. From schematic design through construction documents, Walker develops technical drawings and details for each waterproofing system, assists with product selection, provides specifications (including performance criteria and warranty requirements), and specifies mock-ups and testing provisions that are pertinent to the overall waterproofing design.
Building design and peer review services are critical to the overall building envelope quality and performance. With the evolution of building materials and construction technology, building owners, developers, architects, and contractors will benefit from Walker’s peer review services that provide an extra level of quality assurance for the exterior enclosure systems.
Walker provides waterproofing design services for all building components including below-grade foundations, plaza and podium configurations, balconies, walkways, wall systems, window flashing, and roofing assemblies.
Building Envelope Testing
Often provided in conjunction with Walker’s other building envelope services, diagnostic testing and site reviews verify the performance, energy, and indoor environmental conditions of new and existing buildings. Walker provides the following testing services:
- Water intrusion testing
- Air leakage testing
- Infrared thermal imaging
- Air barrier testing
- Roof uplift testing
Façade & Roofing Restoration
Walker offers comprehensive engineering services for all kinds of facades and roofing systems as follows:
- Condition survey and evaluation
- Non-destructive testing such as thermography to pinpoint locations and contributing causes
- Façade types including terra cotta, stone, masonry, metallic, concrete and glass
- Different roof types such as to build-up roofs (hot and cold apply), modified bitumen systems, EPDM systems and liquid apply systems
- Special roofing systems: green roofs, recreational use roof and high energy requirements
Walker performs assessment and performance testing on existing windows, doors, curtain walls, and storefronts to evaluate non-performance issues and develop repair/replacement programs. We provide replacement design and design consulting, verification testing, and third-party inspection of installations.
Façade Access Equipment
Walker performs design, inspection, and load testing of façade access support permanent components including: davits, lifeline anchors, tie-back anchors, davit bases, and horizontal lifeline systems per ASTM requirements.
Walker acts as a lead of the quality control process for the owner’s interest to prevent and eliminate problems inexpensively. Beginning in pre-design through each project phase, we review drawings and make site visits to verify that the project goals are being met to result in value for the life of the structure. This process yields quality buildings that meet/exceed the owner’s expectation which ultimately saves on the overall cost for the owner (project cost, structure life cycle, fewer change orders).
Construction Contract Administration and Third-Party Review
Walker provides on-site field visits and consulting during repair construction to observe contractor performance and resolve any field issues that may arise. We review material data, shop drawing submittals and recommend changes as needed. In addition, we address hidden conditions, provide resolutions, and monitor the contractor’s quality control along with answering questions that may arise.
Walker provides attorneys, insurance companies, building owners, and design firms with a wide range of litigation support services. Services include forensic investigations, assessment, testing, and design analysis. We can evaluate current conditions and determine the root cause of a building system’s non-performance. Our senior specialists are available to provide expert witness testimony, deposition services, and mediation/trial support.
Walker’s experts work within historic preservation design regulations and balance our client’s project and budget priorities to provide holistic and lasting preservation solutions while maintaining the structure’s integrity. This includes comprehensive architectural and structural evaluations of historic enclosures and the integral structures and detailed analysis of the project requirements. Our experienced teams will develop design documents suitable both for local permitting and historic review board approvals and compliant with applicable standards (such as the nationally-recognized Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties). We collaborate with specialty product manufacturers and qualified restoration contractors nationally, and can ensure that the distinctive characteristics of these historic property assets are preserved and maintained for generations to come.