Supporting an innovative commercial design
LifeWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building strong and resilient families. Providing counseling, housing, education/workforce services, and youth development, the organization needed a new branch to serve as a home and foundation for its programs and services in Austin, Texas.
The three-story, 33,600 square foot building is designed to reflect the organization’s mission and the spirit of the local community. Designed by Miró Rivera Architects, the building transforms what could have been a typical institutional-looking office building into an animated, welcoming, and very functional design.
LifeWorks received a 5-star sustainability rating from the Austin Energy Green Building program for its innovative and sustainable design, achieving 79.6% less energy use compared to a baseline case study.
Improving durability while reducing costs
The contractor needed to use a breathable air barrier to prevent air infiltration and water egress, while minimizing energy loss and maximizing the long-term durability of the building. In addition, since LifeWorks is a nonprofit, they had a modest budget, which added to the challenges of the project. While traditional building wraps may have fulfilled the budgetary requirement, they might not have been as durable or as permeable in real-world applications.
Therefore, the overall challenge was to find a non-traditional, fully-adhered, breathable air system that could outperform traditional building wraps.
Ensuring savings and sustainability
PERM-A-BARRIER® VPS is a low-cost, high-performing fully-adhered vapor permeable air barrier membrane. For LifeWorks, this meant a solution that saved money while providing maximum performance and energy saving.
Once the building's OSB substrate was primed, PERM-A-BARRIER® VPS was applied throughout the building's first and third floor walls. It provided immediate airtight protection against the elements. Since the membrane was self-adhered, it removed the requirement for mechanical fasteners and spray equipment. Installation was fast and easy due to the membrane's lightweight and controlled thickness.
In the end, the new LifeWorks branch headquarters was made even more durable and sustainable. As the organization continues working to build strong and resilient families, they can rest assured knowing that they're building on a solid foundation—a building constructed to provide both savings and sustainability in the long term.
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Last Updated: 2023-04-25