CB Products is proud to present another completed project in the United States. The Th!nk Primary Care Facility is located in Omaha, Nebraska and is a “living” proof that rainscreens can be used anywhere in the country (or for that matter in the world). Th!nk is a medical office building that features a beautiful and functional combination of curtainwall, terracotta rainscreen, metal panels, and concrete block.
The purpose of this blog is to demonstrate how this project was built from the standpoint of terracotta cladding in a rainscreen system.
Th!nk project featured 3,000 square feet of Agrob Buchtal Keratwin panels installed on a K20 rainscreen system, developed by Agrob Buchtal. The complete rainscreen system was designed & engineered and supplied by CB Products in partnership with QVent. The installation was performed by Architectural Wall Systems, Nebraska.
The L-shaped wall brackets are first installed on the wall through the waterproofing and attached to the studs. The studs were installed by the subcontractor (AWS) at the exact locations of the vertical joints of the terracotta (layout is crucial). The insulation is inserted in between the brackets is kept in place by the brackets. This is a “true” rainscreen system where the insulation is brought out outside the wall cavity and is thus able to perform much better (live up to its advertised R-Value).
Once the insulation is in place, the vertical K20 carrier (T-profile in this case) is attached to the L-brackets. The K20 vertical carrier is pre-punched with hooks that fit onto the back of the extruded terracotta panels. The panels are installed onto the vertical carriers by simply clicking them into place. The vertical carrier also has a pin that lines up with the top of the panel and holds it in place. No screws, sealants, or gaskets are needed to install the panels. (This means significant reduction in installation time and large savings in manpower and setting materials).
The K20 terracotta system can be installed on the building by using various types of equipment. (Scaffolding use is also possible, but in our experience slows down the installation.) On higher levels, as seen on the picture above, AWS used a zooming forklift (a “cherry picker”). On larger projects, such as Boylston the installer used a mast climber, which comes very useful when covering large areas with multiple facade materials. Swing stages are often used if equipment on the ground is difficult or impossible to place.
This picture shows the installation at the roof level. “Baker” or “Rolling” scaffold can be used at areas that do not reach very high. Note: The Keratwin panels, weighing only 6.2 lbs/sf can be installed by one man. These particular panels weigh about 25 lbs, so they are relatively easy to handle. (You cannot do this with stone!) With one man on the ground the other man handing the panels, the installation goes very fast.
Corner detail at the transition between the terracotta panels (on the right) and the metal panels. The open-joint rainscreen construction allows for easy integration of different materials. Caulking or sealing is not an issue, so elements can be placed without worrying about water penetration. (Let the water come in!)
The result is a beautiful facade (at least we Th!nk so) completed in true rainscreen system. We thank Agrob Buchtal and QVent for making it happen for us. We thank AWS for doing a great job of putting the stuff up on the building.
Stay Tuned for More Photos!