Blue Springs Condominiums | Waterloo, Ontario
After several attempts over the years to remedy significant moisture and thermal issues at the Willowells Condominiums, MTE provided a lasting solution that addressed the chronic issues and resulted in an overall energy savings of 25 per cent for the condominium. The Cloisters of Willowells are a community of three six-storey residential condo buildings that were constructed in the 1980s using thin concrete slabs on open web steel joists supported on “through-the-wall” structural brick.
Our team initially completed a cladding assessment of the buildings to address ongoing leakage issues. The condos were experiencing leakage through the exterior brick and around the windows, ice damming on solariums from poor air and vapour barriers and persistent cracking and spalling of the brick. Our team was retained and teamed with an architectural firm to design a long-term solution that would also improve the building’s aesthetics and reduce the constant need for building maintenance.
Our Building Restoration team designed and managed a major renewal of two of the three condos which included:
- Roof replacement
- Masonry repairs
- Over-cladding with an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS)
- Window and door replacement
- New balcony railings
Once our proposed solution was accepted by the condominium board, our group tendered the construction work and provided construction review and contract administration services.
Our project team worked with the architect to design a custom brick template application which was laid out on site by a mason, to ensure that corners and bonding match the coursing of regular brick installation. Preventing water infiltration into the brick structure and moving the structure to the warm side of the wall improved the longevity of the brick. It also diminishes the need for repair intervention, which in turn limits the amount of physical resources that need to be put into the building.
Additionally, in order to maintain the original aesthetic while still providing a high performing air barrier, weather barrier, and insulation level to the entire building, the cladding system was stenciled with a textured brick pattern to match the existing brick size and coursing. The lower levels of the building were made to look like granite panels by notching the EIFS and using a textured acrylic finish that is enhanced with Mica to produce a granite look.
Our work provided a long-term solution to the sustained issues affecting these buildings which also resulted in both energy savings and an improved overall look. As a result of our effort on this project, we were presented with a Gold award from the Grand River Chapter of the Consulting Engineers of Ontario.