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High-Rise Masonry Facade: Durable and Achievable

Beginning of a high-rise building with scaffolds and metal reinforcements in place

High-Rise Masonry Facade: Durable and Achievable

With property prices at a premium throughout most of the Pacific Northwest, building upward is often the best way to maximize value and ensure a good return on investment. However, building a mid-rise or high rise building is complex, and nothing should be left to chance. Thats why many contractors turn to J&S Masonry, taking full advantage of a skill set that ranges across masonry facades, scaffolding, and construction project management.

Why Experience is Important in High Rise Building


All too often, contractors will forego insurance or take shortcuts, sacrificing long-term safety to chase short-term profit. The challenges presented in a high rise building project ensures that this is a recipe for failed inspections, envelope problems, and the potential for increased liability exposure. An experienced contractor knows better than to cut corners. 


What Challenges Are There to Building Masonry Facade in High Rises?


While developers and property owners look at a site and see an opportunity, they should not overlook the challenges that high rise construction presents.

Envelope Problems

Every building consists of conditioned spaces (buildings heated and cooled interior spaces) and unconditioned spaces (spaces exposed to the outdoors, like the roof, windows, and subfloors). The building envelope mediates and insulates between the conditioned and unconditioned spaces. The use of quality facade materials for high rise buildings enables the envelope to resist common atmospheric conditions like heat, cold, and humidity, while also insulating against noise transfer. 

Insurance Companies

Portland recently edged into the top 25 largest cities in the United States. For its part, Seattle is experiencing a rate of growth second only to Atlanta. The population influx means a boom in demand for housing stock, especially high rise buildings like apartments, condominiums, and mixed-use buildings. The higher demand for housing has also resulted in a higher percentage of uninsured and inexperienced masonry contractors. As weve already discussed, these substandard contractors cut corners; envelope problems turn into lawsuits, making many insurers shy away from apartments and condos. An experienced mason with a proven track record will deliver quality work and ensure that the project is insured and warrantied upon completion. 


J&S Masonrys Commitment to Safe and Durable High Rise Buildings


Safety matters during the job, and long after weve cleaned up and moved on. Our methodology makes sure that our results are as safe and durable as the work that made them possible. 


Importance of Scaffolds

By definition, erecting a mid-rise or high-rise building requires the use of scaffolding to reach the heights we need to work. J&S Masonry brings three key advantages when it comes to using scaffolds. 

  1. We have worked on multiple projects, 450 feet or higher, honing our skills and creating a long track record of safety. 
  2. We have extensive experience in coordinating the sequence of multiple trades in multiple building facade designs. 
  3. And because we use hydraulic scaffolding supplied by our own scaffold company, our scaffold allow workers to work while standing upright at an optimum working height. This increases productivity, while our setup ensures less penetration to the building envelope. 

WRB & Inspections

Moisture can cause severe damage to building components between the sheathing and siding. In extreme cases, it can also cause damage to the buildings interior. At J&S Masonry, we use state of the art water-resistive barriers (WRB) as a key component of our masonry facades. All points of potential moisture penetration are inspected to ensure that the building is watertight and the envelope will do its job for the long haul. If we discover flaws in our workmanship in the course of an inspection, we pause our work, RFI solutions through the proper channels, and complete the project correctly. 

Experience is Everything

For over a decade, J&S Masonry has completed more than 30 mid-rise and high-rise buildings throughout the Portland and Seattle areas. We combine our masonry design expertise with the experience of other reputable high-end contractors, and use only the best facade materials for high rise buildings. You can rest assured that any high-rise building project we have worked on will be as safe and durable as it is attractive. Beginning of a high-rise building with scaffolds and metal reinforcements in place

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