One Madison Park

The Western Specialty Contractors Facades Division, based in Ridgefield, NJ, has helped to transform the discreet entrance to one of Manhattan, New York's most luxurious condominium high rise buildings into a functional work of art.


Located at E22nd Street in the Flatiron District is the entrance to an award-winning, modern high rise featuring some of Manhattan's most luxurious condominiums (prices start at $10.5 million for a three bedroom apartment and $72 million for the penthouse). Its private entrance was made up of concrete columns and spandrels with large windows covering the majority of the south elevation. Its lobby often features commissioned art work.


Western Specialty Contractors was hired by Lend Lease Project Management and Construction to install a terra cotta rainscreen system on the entrance's facade at a total cost of $1 million.


Work began on the project with a laser survey of the concrete structure. Boston Valley Terra Cotta would use the survey to custom-design a terra cotta facade for the building. Multiple trips were required by Western crews to Boston Valley's manufacturing plant in Buffalo, NY for dimension verification and revisions to the shop drawings to ensure that the system would fit a variety of conditions.


Once the terra cotta rainscreen system design was finalized and its fabrication complete, Western crews began waterproofing/insulating the building's entrance using a Sika Air-Vapor Barrier (AVB) and Roxul mineral wood insulation, hung with aluminum pins. Western then installed the rainscreen metal girt and track support system to carry the terra cotta facade, then sealed the window mullions at the perimeters.


The challenging work for Western began with installation of the decorative, vertical terra cotta fins, which were supported with a steel tube spine system outboard of the wall tiles, some of which spanned over windows from floor-to-floor to create a “floating fin” effect. The terra cotta tiles were then set on the support system at columns, spandrels, window returns, soffits, floating fins and the entrance return. The runs spanned from the sidewalk level to the top of the structure, which is approx. 65 feet tall.  Lastly, Western crews installed colored aluminum sills to complete the system.


Each terra cotta tile, which had a natural color finish, had to be meticulously installed by Western crews based on the architect's specified color pattern. Multiple site visits with the architect were required to confirm the colors and final tile placement.



Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building

Western Specialty Contractors partnered with Tremco Roofing to investigate the leaking facade at Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building in San Diego, California. The building was experiencing leaks and looked to the Western/ Tremco team to identify the appropriate repair solution. A remediation scope was developed but in order to verify the effectiveness of the repair, Western recommended that a mock up be conducted.


Included in the mock up was a spray rack water test. The water test caused the building to leak, and Western immediately performed the proposed remediation scope. The scope included: sealant removal and replacement on the window system, stucco crack repairs, and a primer plus two coat application of Solargard wall coating. Following the remediation scope, the same location was water tested again and there were no leaks.


Western was then contracted by Sharp Grossmont to perform the restoration scope over the entire facility. The solution development, pre-project mock up, and team approach during construction made this project a success for all parties involved; Western Specialty Contractors, Tremco Roofing, and Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building.



Millennia Lakes

Employees of Western Specialty Contractors' Orlando, FL branch recently received high praise from Cushman & Wakefield property management for their scheduling flexibility and professionalism while replacing sealants on the Millennia Lakes office building facade in Orlando, FL.


Western crews prepared progress reports and updated schedules for the Cushman & Wakefield management team on a weekly basis as part of their on-site progress meetings. The six-month project was completed in November, 2015.


“Cushman & Wakefield values its partnership with Western. The countless times its team rearranged its schedule to accommodate a proposal is truly a testament to the partnership we have built in Florida,” said Harry Moseley of Cushman & Wakefield. “The job Western's team did at the Millennia Lakes building was the most professional. Our chief engineer and property manager felt very comfortable talking with Western's superintendent daily; he was very organized with progress reports every Friday for our site meetings. Western's leadership and values are apparent with the entire staff. We look forward to working with Western for many years.”


Western's scope of work on the seven-story building's exterior included replacing all existing window and precast sealants with Dow Corning 790 and 795 silicone sealants. Western crews applied glazing to 32,000 feet of glass and installed sealants on 8,700 feet of structural glass and 11,000 feet of precast. Western crews also cleaned 23,000 square feet of masonry on the building's facade, followed by a BASF Master Protect 400 sealer. Western crews utilized a combination of swing stages and man lifts to perform the repairs. Overhead protection was erected at several areas of the building to maintain direct access to work areas.



Capital One Plaza

Constructed in 1982, the travertine panel facade of the Capital One Plaza building in Houston, Texas was showing signs of spalling and the sealants were failing from years of weather exposure. Western Specialty Contractors – Houston, Texas Branch (formerly named Western Waterproofing Company) was hired by property manager CBRE to restore the 22-story building's damaged travertine facade.


Western's scope of work included removing 260 travertine panels, each weighing 700 pounds, and replacing them with new tiles imported from an Italian quarry to match. Damaged panels were repaired by using a combination of re-pinning using Helical Anchors and performing Dutchmen repairs, a technique used to replace only the faulty portion of a stone with a new stone material that closely matches.


“One of the main challenges on the project was lifting the heavy travertine pieces to their places on the building's new facade without damaging them,” said Patrick Sheeran, Western Houston Branch Manager. “Fortunately for Western, a stone fabricator located next door to our offices let us use their pneumatic stone vacuum lifter which is capable of handling stone pieces of up to 2,200 pounds.”


All existing sealants on the building were also replaced including the CMU backup joints, travertine panel joints, window perimeter joints and glass butt joints. The entire building was also cleaned and parged to create a continuous surface by filling surface air voids and bug holes in the masonry walls.


With a little ingenuity and use of the pneumatic vacuum, Western crews were able to successfully complete the project within 20 months. The project received a 2014 Pinnacle Award of Merit: Renovation/Restoration from the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential and renovation/restoration of natural stone projects worldwide.



Quality Inn

The Quality Inn Hotel in Des Moines is located near one of the largest entertainment centers in the state, the Wells Fargo Arena. Since this is a high traffic area, the hotel owners decided to upgrade and update the exterior of the building.

The owners liked the appearance and texture of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System). Insulation was not a concern in this application however, and was taken out of the system. The building’s vertical columns and horizontal beams were prepared and a new EIFS coating system was installed. New sealant was also installed at critical movement locations and window frame perimeters.

The updated colors and appearance are inviting to the public and expectations are high for the upcoming season.


215 East 68th Street

Western Specialty Contractors and their facades division has received the 2013 Transformation Award by Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts as part of the design team for the recladding of the Rudin family's East 68th Street.

Formed in 2013, as a response to a growing number of large-scale facade repair and replacement assignments, Western's facades division draws on key personnel with extensive experience from our acquisition, formerly known as Brisk Waterproofing, a Western company serving the New York City real estate community for nearly a century. The facades team works exclusively on large-scale, complex facade restoration and recladding projects requiring the company's unique expertise and experience.

Click  to read the related Press Release from April, 2013

Property Description:

606 unit, residential building with a 34-story core and two, 21-story wings


Remove weather-worn brick facade
Waterproofed by:

  • Installation of cementitious parging materials at the block back-up walls
  • Applying a water-based permeable liquid membrane to the prepared wall and flashing at the penetrations
  • Placement of anodized aluminum support system with stainless steel hardware and EPDM gasketing and spacers
  • Insulating with mineral wool
  • Finished with Duranar aluminum sills, head closures and wall coping

Exterior tiling with terra cotta tiles
Silicone sealant application

Building located in a busy residential neighborhood
Occupied with 606 rental apartments during construction
Existing block back-up behind the brick veneer is unreinforced and only 4″ thick
Exposure of reinforced back-up wall could not exceed footage that could be supported within five days in the case of an extreme wind event, and/or coordination of design, fabrication, shipping and site delivery of materials on a global basis
Any one portion of block back-up could only be exposed for five days at a time per the restrictions of the Structural Engineer
Over 150 tradesmen onsite at a time – careful management imperative to control quality and safe working environment
Limited working space making coordination of material arrival and debris removal critical to keep space free
Unexpected Atlantic hurricane and record snow storms demanded unique problem solving capabilities and a high degree of flexibility

Completion – Fall of 2012