New Buildings Exterior Consulting Services
Williamson provides a wide range of consulting services related to new construction of commercial and institutional buildings. Our range of services includes reviewing documents (Architectural drawings and specifications) for watertightness and durability issues, reviewing shop drawings and materials submittals with the same focus, providing assistance during pre-construction meetings between Contractors and Architects, performing site inspections and water testing on mock-ups and production work on buildings, and performing substantial completion or “punchlist” inspections of completed construction.
• An important initial service that W&A can provide for new construction is to review construction documents (Architectural drawings and specifications) for watertightness and durability issues. During such reviews, we study the drawings and provide advice for consideration by the Architect, Owner, and Contractor – with our focus on watertightness and durability. This includes providing recommended details and materials choices for building exterior envelope construction, and when appropriate recommending against materials or detailing that have provided poor results.
• In providing such review services, we bring our many years of experience with solving watertightness and durability problems on existing buildings to the arena of constructing new buildings, and helping our Clients avoid these problems.
• Our Client base for documents review services includes Architects, Owners, and General Contractors.
Shop Drawings and Submittals Review
• After the design of a new building is completed, and the Contractor is preparing for construction, W&A can assist during the pre-construction process. An important step to the Contractor, and the Architect, is the preparation and submittal of shop drawings and materials selection submittals from the Contractor to the Architect, to confirm the pending construction meets the Architect’s design intent.
• W&A can provide review services of the shop drawings and materials submittals, with our same focus – watertightness and durability. The goal here as well is to apply our field experiences with solving problems to helping the Project Team avoid problems with new construction.
• We commonly review shop drawings and materials submittals for systems such as roofing, windows and curtainwalls, storefront assemblies, masonry and precast concrete cladding systems, stone work, stucco and EIFS cladding systems, metal panels cladding, plaza deck and balcony waterproofing, “green roofing”, and below grade waterproofing applications.
• Review of submittals is important because it helps confirm that the installing Subcontractors understand the project requirements and how to detail the installations including interface with other systems and trades, to meet the Architect’s intent, prior to work being performed.
• Before production work construction begins on a new building, it is common for the General Contractor to have pre-construction meetings with the Subcontractors, to discuss the pending construction, and help the various trades work together, make plans, and avoid problems both in their own specific trade (roofing, masonry, windows, and many others), and where such trades interface.
• W&A can assist with these meetings, participating in and often leading the discussion to help the Contractor Team work together to achieve a watertight and durable building exterior envelope and striving to minimize problems with both detailing and sequence of construction. This is another instance of where our experience in solving problems with existing buildings can be very beneficial to the Team constructing a new building.
Site Visits and Water Testing
• After construction starts on a project, W&A can provide services such as inspection of mock-up assemblies and the production work actually on the building.
• With mock-ups (whether wall or roofing assemblies) the goal is to help the Contractor demonstrate understanding of the Architect’s desired appearance of the constructed exterior envelope, but also the detailing needed to achieve watertightness and durability – as valuable as the Architect’s desired appearance of the new building. W&A can assist with site visits and inspections of such mock-ups, and including water testing where appropriate.
• When production work begins, W&A commonly provides site visits and inspection services. This can be very focused on a particular trade that is in progress (masonry or windows or roofing for example), or can include top-to-bottom observations and inspection of the entire building envelope. Such site visits are typically provided on a periodic basis, at a frequency and length tailored to the Client’s (Architect, Owner, or Contractor) concerns and budget limitations.
• Typically each such site visit includes providing verbal feedback immediately to the Contractor and its Subcontractors, and the Architect. We then commonly prepare a written report presenting our observations and findings during a site visit, with recommendations as appropriate for adjustments or corrections – all with our focus on building exterior watertightness and durability with the completed building envelope.
• Also during construction, W&A can provide water testing services to check the performance of completed work. We commonly perform testing of installed windows, curtainwalls, flashings with exterior cladding systems, and other assemblies. We perform the common major ASTM, AAMA, and other construction industry standard tests, and we also perform a few tests of our own development – to help check completed construction for watertightness.
• At the end of a project, W&A can also assist the Architect with the performance of Substantial Completion or "Punchlist" inspections of the building exterior envelope, based on our focus in this area.