United States Institute for Peace

Clark Construction
Washington, DC

Building Enclosure Consulting

The general contractor retained WJE to provide building enclosure consulting to perform a peer review and to assist in the resolution of details, especially at interfaces between the skylight and roof and facade elements. This scope included the development of details for consideration by the architect. WJE's services extended into testing and construction observation of the work in process.


The United States Institute for Peace is located in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall. The building, designed by Moshe Safdie Architects and constructed by Clark Construction, is the headquarters for the organization dedicated to peacemaking. The building is comprised of precast panel walls and punch windows. The facade facing Constitution Avenue incudes a floor-to-ceiling glazed curtain wall. The outstanding feature of the building is the skylight, intended to resemble the wings of a bird. The skylight curves in multiple directions and includes numerous curved and sloped ridges and valleys. Interfacing with the skylight are numerous roofs, including a curved standing seam metal roof at the west elevation.


WJE commenced services with a peer review of the contract documents to assist in recognizing any issues related to the design of the exterior enclosure or constructability concerns. Following the peer review, including design details and specifications, WJE participated in numerous charrettes with the architect of record to resolve details, while maintaining the design intent. These meetings resulted in addendums that were issued to the contractor to provide clarification and supplemental direction.

As the project transferred into the construction phases, WJE was further engaged to provide on-site construction observation and testing services. The work involved the review of building enclosure components at the initial mock-up and tests for air and water penetration resistance. WJE continued site visits throughout construction and supported the design and construction team in the development of field sketched details at interfaces between systems, including the skylight to roof, skylight to precast panels, and standing seam metal roofing and gutters.

The project exemplifies WJE's hands-on approach and team attitude to successfully collaborate with international architects, general contractors, and overseas specialty subcontractors on iconic building designs.