This 19-story hotel building, constructed in 1984, was clad with Alucobond™ aluminum composite curtain wall panels with sealed butt joints. In 2008, several of the wall panels on one façade fell off of the building. In the course of an investigation, it was determined that the steel framing system behind the panels had been installed out of plumb. This resulted in a condition where some of the panels did not have all of the anchorage points necessary to hold them in place. Repairs were made to the curtain wall system in 2009; subsequently, the building department of the City of Glendale, Colorado required the building owner to conduct annual inspections of the repairs to ensure that they remained sound.
Rimkus was retained by the owner’s representative, an international property management company, to perform these inspections in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Our review of the 2009 design drawings for the repairs indicated that the repairs consisted of the installation of 6” wide pressure plates over the vertical joints in the wall panels. These pressure plates, which extended from grade to the roof, were wide enough to span across the curtain wall’s butt joints as well as over the position of the underlying steel framing system. The pressure plates were screwed through the wall panels into the framing, and then finished with aluminum snap covers.
From the vantage point of a swing stage, a portion of the façade was inspected by Rimkus, both manually and visually. The stability of the pressure plates was examined by manipulating the snap covers over the pressure plates to determine if the assembly was secure, and sealant joints were visually examined. Photographs and notes were taken of the conditions found, and Reports of Findings after each inspection.