909 A Street

McLarens Global Claim Services
Tacoma, WA

Curtain Wall Investigation

The client retained WJE to inspect the water leakage conditions, assess the nature of the leaks and their potential causes, and evaluate a repair proposal to address areas of active leakage.


The 909 A Street building is a twelve-story office building in downtown Tacoma. The building facades have two general assemblies. One is an aluminum curtain wall system with vision glass and spandrel panels at floor lines. The vision glass areas consist of tinted insulating glass units (IGUs) and spandrel panels appear to be glass with an opacifying coating or film on the interior surface. The second cladding assembly is 3-centimeter-thick granite panels with concealed attachments and windows with exposed framing that appears aesthetically similar to the curtain wall system. Depending on the size and location of the windows, spandrel glass may exist within the window assembly.


WJE inspected past leak locations to understand which locations were currently leaking and what damage had occurred. WJE architects noted that past maintenance efforts appeared to have been minimal and that the gaskets were twenty-five years old and reaching the end of their service life. The architects also reviewed another consultant's repair scope to determine its competitiveness and compare the repair possibilities. WJE confirmed the general nature of the repair scope to be reasonable. Ultimately, WJE recommended applying sealant over the gaskets and the snap cap as well as over all of the splice joints and snap cover ends; this approach strives to make the entire window or curtain wall completely watertight at the exterior surface, minimizing the possibility of future water leakage.