Our design team was engaged by State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University Facility Design Services to evaluate and recommend an exterior cladding system solution to replace the existing distressed masonry veneer exterior that has failed after 45 years of service.
The design objectives of this project include improved building envelope thermal performance, durability, sustainability, visual compatibility with context, and cost effectiveness.
The recommended thermal envelope solution is to exceed the minimum insulation levels required by current code to the extent afforded by the anticipated budget. Although enhanced insulation levels typically yield longer payback periods, their contribution in reducing overall heat loss/gain and consequent reduced energy consumption is a valuable investment towards reducing the environmental impact of the built environment. A continuous envelope is paramount to effective performance. The proposed solution includes enveloping the poorly insulated exterior soffits and replacing the existing windows with insulated units. Rigid mineral wool is the recommended insulation material that offers a compelling alternative to the prevalent petroleum based products and provides a balance of desirable technical and sustainable attributes necessary to achieve a high performance thermal building envelope. The recommendation is to pursue as high an insulation value, up to a threshold of R-25, as cost and assembly limitations can accommodate. A continuous air barrier will mitigate air leakage that is the source of significant thermal transference.
The recommended cladding solution is a proportional combination of brick facing veneer and metal siding intended as a practical, cost effective, and aesthetically compatible reskinning solution. Brick facing veneer is a proven industry standard assembly that will serve as a durable material at the base of the exterior wall and is thematically consistent with the materials of the Cancer Center. Metal siding offers a reasonably priced metal cladding solution that complements the adjacent context without replication.