Richard Bolling Federal Enclosure Building: Modernization and Energy Efficiency Upgrades

December 30, 2009
Publication: Journal of Building Enclosure Design n Winter p 10-12
Author(s): Heule M.J. McGuire S. Totten, Paul E. Harriman L.

Abstract: This article will discuss changes made to the facade of the Richard Bolling Federal Building located in Kansas City, Missouri. The 1960s constructed eighteen story building with 50,000 sf floor plates spans two city blocks and is clad with a curtain wall that consists of metal panels and glazed portions on its north and south elevations and mainly granite panels on its east and west elevations. See Figure 1 for a view of a portion of the south facade.|The modernization project involved complete demolition of each floor to remove asbestos containing fireproofing materials from the steel framed structure. The renovation included complete new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, public space elevator lobbies, restrooms, and class 'A' tenant finishes. At the exterior, the existing curtain wall could not be affordably reclad; however, elements of a new energy-efficient modern window system would need to be retrofitted into the current cladding system. Because the curtain wall required new structural bracing, the interior surfaces of the curtain wall were demolished and the contaminated curtain wall insulation was abated. This required scope of work provided an opportunity to install new energy efficient features. Operable portions of the curtain wall window system were replaced with a fixed thermally broken high efficiency window system. In addition, the curtain wall bracing required new structural members with attachments to the curtain wall. The attachments unfortunately introduced the potential for a thermal bridge that could result in winter-time window condensation that required thermal analysis to further evaluate. Working with a building science consultant and a thermographer, the design team assessed the short comings of the building's facade from an energy standpoint. This assessment helped the team solve potential thermal inefficiencies, prevent condensation at windows, and bring its expected new energy performance to the level the design team had intended. The project design team for this award winning building (2008 GSA Citation in Modernization) is a joint effort between Kansas City based firms Helix Architecture + Design in association with Gastinger Walker Harden Architects.

Markets: Government Office