A four-year project in Chicago will focus on the removal and replacement of the original 35-year-old sealants on Accenture Tower’s curtain wall and bridge over Canal Street.
A contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing, and specialty roofing, Western Specialty Contractors—Chicago facades branch is undertaking this project. The real estate developer, KBS, contracted the company in 2021 to completely restore the existing curtain wall at the property.
According to Debbie Kalck, branch manager for Western’s Chicago facades branch, a curtain wall system on a building’s facade plays a critical role in the overall design and performance of the building, and must consider various forms of outside air, water infiltration, wind loading, and seismic forces.
Kalck says the restoration’s long completion schedule is due to Accenture Tower’s two maintenance house rigs—remotely operated working platforms attached to the curtain wall’s structural tube members and internal track system, similar to swing stages—which allow Western’s crews to access approximately 80 percent of the exterior. The house rigs limit the number of crews able to work on the building at a time and do not provide access to the base of the building or the Canal Street bridge.
Western determined the most cost-effective way to perform the work at the inaccessible locations would be via an extensive rope access/controlled descent. Western employees performing this work have received Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) training from certified evaluators for elevated safety, and are certified as SPRAT Level 1: Rope Access Workers.
Accenture Tower is a 135,638-m2 (1.46-million-sf) building, with 42-story Class A offices and 7,432-m2 (80,000-sf) of retail space, at 500 West Madison Street in Chicago, Illinois. The tower, completed in 1987 and formerly known as 500 West Madison, has twice earned the outstanding building of the year (TOBY) award internationally by The Building Owner and Managers Association (BOMA). Sitting above the Ogilvie Transportation Center, the sixth busiest railway commuter station/terminal in North America, Accenture Tower has earned a UL Verified Healthy Building verification and is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold and WiredScore gold certified.
One comment on “Chicago’s Accenture Tower to undergo extensive curtain wall restoration”
It would be useful to know the type of sealant(s) used and the reason for failure.