A stunningly comfortable first impression
Clark University, located in Worcester, MA, is a widely respected research institution, particularly for its excellent science program. To reflect the cutting-edge research that is happening inside its buildings every day, the university is committed to investing in its campus exteriors, in hopes of attracting top students and faculty.
That’s why, after three decades, it was time to give the Sackler Science Center a facelift. University administrators felt it was imperative that this research hub for computer science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, located at the core of the campus, remain a jewel in the campus crown. To accomplish this task, they decided to upgrade the outer walls of the Science Center.
While they certainly matter, a good first impression isn’t only about appearances. The committee was mindful of humid Septembers and how they affect occupant comfort at the start of the new semester. Improving classroom comfort by keeping moisture out of the air was integral to the project. As a side benefit, the upgrade would also provide protection to sensitive laboratory equipment, housed in the building’s 30,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space.
When it came time to hire a team, Clark University chose award-winning architectural firm Architerra Inc. and contractors from Consigli Construction. The decision was an easy one; Architerra and Consigli had previously collaborated on the design and construction of the university’s LEED®-certified, solar-powered Alumni & Student Engagement Center.
The team decided to bring the Science Center’s stunning façade alive with an open-joint cladding. While the cladding would modernize the building’s look, Architerra knew that the open joints would expose the weather barrier to damaging UV rays for the life of the cladding, which would decrease the barrier’s efficacy. To avoid long-term degradation and protect occupant comfort, the team specified DELTA®-FASSADE S as the moisture barrier.
DELTA®-FASSADE S was engineered specifically for open-joint cladding to maintain both creative freedom and the integrity of the building enclosure. As a watertight membrane with permanent UV resistance – a unique feature to this product – DELTA®-FASSADE S also has a high vapor permeability, to allow moisture out of the wall system.
The project was successful in many ways. The upgrade gives students and faculty yet another campus feature to be proud of; it demonstrates to visitors and prospective students that Clark University is a cutting-edge facility; and, for administrators, it will provide a return on investment for decades to come.