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Building Envelope

for Existing Structures

Walker’s building envelope experts bring a practical consulting approach to each unique project and client. Whether it be cracking in masonry, spalling of concrete, fogging of windows, water or air infiltration, Walker can pinpoint the cause and develop cost effective solutions.

The building envelope, including exterior walls, roofing system, windows, and other barrier elements, is the primary line of defense against exterior elements and plays critical roles in a building’s energy performance, occupant comfort, and aesthetics. Like any complex system, it needs regular assessments and maintenance throughout its service life. Engaging our building envelope experts early to routinely assess your structure’s building envelope system is a proactive approach to avoiding costly repairs later. However, in the event defects or deficiencies are identified in the building envelope, our experts have extensive forensics investigation experience that not only allows us to identify the underlying cause of the issue, but also design repairs to address it.

We combine emerging technologies with time-tested and proven methods to create solutions tailored to your needs, budget, and schedule.

Al Bustamante, PE

Senior Vice President / Managing Director

Diagram of several buildings on a city block with parts of the building envelope labeled

Water Leakage Investigation

Dealing with leaks? Trust the engineers and architects at Walker Consultants to develop creative, cost-effective, and lasting repair solutions for your structures.

Our experience touches all parts of a structure, including:

  • Roofing systems and rooftop terraces
  • Exterior walls
  • Balconies
  • Windows and door systems
  • Planters, podiums, and plazas
  • Basements and underground garages

We serve as a third-party consultant to associations, owners, managers, designers, contractors, attorneys, and governments.

Roof Condition Assessments & Replacement

Walker offers comprehensive architectural and engineering services for all kinds of roofing systems. Walker provides assessments for existing roofs which can include non-destructive testing such as thermography to pinpoint locations and contributing causes. We work with clients to design replacement roofing systems to fit the end users’ needs. Expertise in different roof types such as to build-up roofs (hot and cold apply), modified bitumen systems, EPDM systems and liquid apply systems. Experience assessing and designing for special roofing systems such as green roofs, recreational use roof, and high energy requirements.

Façade Condition Assessments & Repair Designs

Walker offers comprehensive architectural and engineering services for all kinds of façade types including terra cotta, stone, masonry, metallic, concrete and glass. Walker provides condition assessments and develops repair designs to extend the service life of the facade.

Also, Walker provides assistance with façade ordinance inspections that will meet the requirements for cities across the country. Learn more here. 

Curtain Wall Design

Walker Consultants combines our structural engineering and architectural design expertise to develop creative, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for new and existing structures with curtain walls.

We can help with every step of a curtain wall’s life cycle, from preliminary design to construction review and restoration. We are experienced forensic and construction defect investigators, so we know the critical areas—and the common mistakes. We ensure the different systems of your structure work together to protect it.

  • Our curtain wall expertise includes:
  • Unitized & Stick
  • Storefront & Window Wall
  • Skylights
  • Structural Glass
  • Handrails
  • Architectural Components

Fenestration Assessment

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.

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

Industrial Rope Access

Industrial Rope Access is an access method which allows qualified engineers and architects at Walker to safely access and work at elevated or difficult-to-reach areas. Walker uses industrial rope access to provide clients with cost-effective and efficient solutions for close-up and hands-on surveys without the added disruptions and expense associated with swing-stages, supported scaffolding, or aerial lifts. Elements of buildings and other structures surveyed by industrial rope access include exterior wall and sloped roof facades, vaulted interior spaces, and façades and structural framing of stadiums, monuments, bridges, spires and elevated water tank structures. Examples of services Walker performs with industrial rope access include:

  • Safety inspections required by city façade ordinances
  • Water intrusion and failure investigations
  • Condition assessment for budgeting
  • Pre-design survey for maintenance and repairs
  • Non-destructive testing

Walker also designs and inspects façade access equipment, including rope access anchors.

Historic Preservation

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.

Repair Design & Construction Documents

Walker provides design services for all exterior building systems. From schematic design through construction documents, Walker develops technical drawings and details, 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 repair design.

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