Air Barrier and Waterproofing Solutions Used to Complete LifeWorks

In order to create a durable and sustainable development, LifeWorks utilized a GCP solution.
LifeWorks, Austin, Texas
Miró Rivera Architects, Austin, Texas
General Contractor
Spaw Glass, Austin, Texas
Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, Austin, Texas
GCP Solution
Perm-A-Barrier® VPS air barrier

LifeWorks is a non-profit organization dedicated to building strong and resilient families. Providing counseling, housing, education/workforce services and youth development, the organization’s important mission and growth required a new branch to serve as a home and foundation for its programs and services in Austin, Texas.

The three-story, 33,600 square foot building is designed to reflect the organization’s mission and the spirit of the local community. Designed by Miró Rivera Architects, the building transforms what could have been a typical institutional-looking office building into an animated, welcoming, and very functional design.

LifeWorks received a 5-star sustainability rating from the Austin Energy Green Building program for its innovation and sustainable design, achieving 79.6% less energy use compared to a baseline case study.

"We really like the Perm-A-Barrier® VPS and the ease of installation. It’s very user friendly. With its controlled thickness, you know the coverage you’ll get. And the material is lightweight, so it’s not cumbersome to work with overhead or on a scaffold or boom lift. We’re recommending the product on some of our other jobs right now – and that says a lot."

Patrick Halaszyne, Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing

A breathable air barrier was required to prevent air infiltration and water egress, while minimizing energy loss and maximizing the long-term durability of the building. A modest budget added a further constraint.

While traditional building wraps may have fulfilled the budgetary requirement, they may not have been as durable or as permeable in real-world applications.

Therefore, the overall challenge was to find a non-traditional fully-adhered breathable air system that could outperform traditional building wraps.

Perm-A-Barrier® VPS represents a low-cost, high-performing fully-adhered vapor permeable air barrier membrane. For LifeWorks, this meant a solution that saved money while providing a high performance energy-saving solution.

Once the building's OSB substrate was primed, Perm-A-Barrier® VPS was applied throughout the building's first and third floor walls.

It provides immediate airtight protection against the elements. Since the membrane was self-adhered, it removed the requirement for mechanical fasteners and spray equipment. Installation was fast and easy due to the membrane's lightweight and controlled thickness.

The Result

In the end, the new LifeWorks branch headquarters was made even more durable and sustainable. As the organization continues working to build strong and resilient families, they can rest assured knowing that they're building on a solid foundation—a building constructed to provide both savings and sustainability in the long term.

Throughout approximately 10,000 square feet of shotcrete foundation walls at the Recreation Center, the Perm-A-Barrier® components worked together to form a continuous and integral bond to the structure, to eliminate water migration between the membrane and shotcrete.

"GCP reps came out and were very helpful with the installation of the product,” said Larry Taniguchi, the architect on the project from Cannon Design. “We have a sub-floor drainage system in place so we see water there when it rains, and we haven’t seen any evidence of water coming through the waterproofed walls.”

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Last Updated: 2022-04-27