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Southwest Community Center Building Envelope Assessment










City of Portland

Portland Parks & Recreation

Building envelope assessment


This comprehensive condition assessment of existing exterior envelope systems was initiated by Portland Parks & Recreation in preparation for a planned partial roof replacement and exterior repair project, originally slated for construction in summer 2019. The existing Southwest Community Center building was built in 1998 and houses a number of special use spaces geared at physical activity, including an indoor pool (natatorium). The building has experienced recurring moisture intrusion and uncontrolled moisture migration through various portions of the building envelope since it was first occupied, prompting a number of studies performed by PRC in the mid-2000’s. This evaluation served to updated those early studies and provide clarity on recommended scope of work for exterior wall system repairs and replacement of the roof covering the natatorium.


PRC performed an extensive visual examination of the entire building exterior with a focus on roof systems, exterior wall cladding systems, glazing systems, and related flashing systems. PRC also performed a thorough visual survey of interior conditions within the natatorium portion of the building, working with TM Rippey Consulting Engineers to evaluate suspected damage to structural elements. On-site observations were reviewed and analyzed along with as-built drawings and previous PRC reports to develop a set of clear recommendations for correction of noted deficiencies. These findings and recommendations were then compiled into a comprehensive report that was presented to PP&R.


Because of the inherent physical forces at play within an interior aquatics’ environment, the building envelope forms only one aspect to a multi-faceted environmental control mechanism. This limitation was highlighted in the report, leading to a supplementary study of the internal systems serving the natatorium. At the request of Portland Parks & Recreation, PRC collaborated with Innova Architects, a design firm specializing in aquatic applications, to lead a team of mechanical, electrical, and aquatics engineers to provide an assessment of these systems. Unfortunately, due to the severity of deficiencies discovered in this investigation, along with the onset of the global Coronavirus pandemic and shifting fiscal priorities, PP&R ultimately tabled the remediation project until further notice.

Southwest Community Center Building Envelope Assessment
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