The Dakota | Denver, Colorado
Issues: Building envelope leaked, parking garage leaked, decks were unsloped
Located in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, the Dakota—originally constructed from 2003 through 2005—is a 5-story mixed-use building with 3 retail units on the ground floor and 62 condo units on the upper floors. Some of the issues that homeowners noticed immediately included water intrusion through the doors to the balconies, low spots in the parking garage and water dripping on parked cars in the garage, and cracking in the stucco façade.
SBSA’s investigation revealed deficiencies in the installation of the stucco system and the brick façade, both of which lacked proper flashings and moisture-management materials, leading to water intrusion, deterioration of building materials, and biogrowth in the wall cavities. The stucco system in particular had developed cracks throughout the field of the exterior walls, leading to increased moisture intrusion. The balconies of the residential units were not properly sloped or waterproofed. Windows and doors were improperly installed and lacked adequate flashing to keep moisture out.
The Dakota Homeowners Association settled the case and received an undisclosed amount for reconstruction. After receiving the settlement, The Dakota Homeowner’s Association contracted with a reconstruction contractor and SBSA to repair the building, as well as for SBSA to conduct a feasibility analysis to determine the repair priorities. Using the information SBSA developed during the litigation, the team designed repairs to the façade, decks, and parking garage.
The contractor deskinned the entire stucco façade, removing sections of the brick façade in order to install flashings properly. During this process, the gypsum board sheathing was removed and replaced, as was any framing that was damaged. Before reinstalling the stucco, the contractor made repairs to the fenestrations, including windows and doors. Since all the windows were being removed, this provided an opportunity for the contractor to install sills and pan flashings—which were not provided during original construction, part of what led to the defective issues at the Dakota.
The integrated moisture-management system was corrected during the reconstruction efforts. Pull tests of the joints verified they were correctly constructed and installed. Additionally, penetrations in the roof were correctly sealed and low spots were addressed to reduce ponding.
Throughout the reconstruction, SBSA performed regular on-site observations to ensure the construction was proceeding in accordance with the intent of our design documents.
Repair efforts at the Dakota were completed in the beginning of 2012.