DOWSIL™ Case Study Cornish Commons – Seattle, Washington

Cornish Commons residence hall with unique rainscreen design - Seattle, WA
Cornish Commons residence hall with unique rainscreen design – Seattle, Washington

A premier college for the visual and performing arts, Cornish College of the Arts’ main campus is located in Seattle’s popular South Lake Union neighborhood, where the 20-story Cornish Commons opened in 2015.

The new residence hall and academic building includes a unique rainscreen design featuring 3/16-inch thick architectural aluminum cladding on cold-form framing. The innovative building design boasts thermal performance 40% better than required by current Seattle Building Code.

Cornish Commons’ Challenge

To achieve its ambitious thermal performance, the rainscreen design includes 2-inch, continuous R-8, exterior insulation to supplement the R-32 interior batt/cavity insulation. But that created additional challenges to be compliant with the Seattle Building Code, which dictates use of insulation outboard of the metal framing. The proposed design needed an air barrier with high permeability to ensure water vapor was not trapped in the wall cavity.

Additionally, staying on schedule – in spite of challenging Seattle weather conditions – was critical. Minimizing product incompatibility issues also was important.

Cornish Commons’ Solution

Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc. selected the 100% silicone DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System to ensure enclosure airtightness performance, durability and compatibility.

When we learned about the option of a fluid-applied silicone air and water barrier, we realized that DOWSIL DefendAir 200 was ideal for our needs. Not only did the spray-applied product simplify installation and eliminate the need for traditional membrane materials, its high permeability ensured our design’s compliance with Seattle Building Code.

Eric Bressman, Architect, Ankrom Moisan Architects

Unitized Construction

To keep the Cornish Commons project on schedule, the design called for a combination of unitized rainscreen panels and traditional construction techniques. The use of unitized panels assembled off-site in a controlled manufacturing environment enabled continued productivity, regardless of weather.

An external cladding contractor’s licensed use of a patented, universal joint system (U.S. Patent 8,943,773) facilitated construction of the unitized panels. This system is designed with interlocking joints that mitigate improper installation conditions that increase the risk of failure.ß The joint system relies on DOWSIL sealants for enhanced performance.

The panels used DOWSIL silicones exclusively: DOWSIL DefendAir 200 as an air barrier and DOWSIL 791 Silicone Weatherproofing Sealant for unit sealing. The quick cure capability of the DOWSIL products helped keep unit assembly on schedule. The unitized rainscreen system was used from the third floor to the 20th floor – using 30 units per floor – with approximately 50,000 square feet protected by the DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System.

All-Weather Installation

Construction on-site continued into late fall, due in part to the low-temperature installation capability of DOWSIL DefendAir 200, which can be applied at temperatures as low as 20°F (-6°C).

The ability to use spray-applied product was much easier, said Jerry Jensen, Project Manager. Its cold-weather ability allowed us to continue construction into inclement fall weather.

In addition to the unitized rainscreen panels, on-site work totaling nearly 8,000 square feet used the DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System on the first and second floors.

Confidently Build A Better Barrier – Simple. Compatible. Silicones.

Because it is not uncommon to face challenges with varying interfacing construction materials, having a compatible all-silicone solution from Dow was appreciated and advantageous.

Having exclusively silicone products ensured compatibility. Rather than an ‘origami’ of incompatible materials around openings, having all-silicone materials simplified construction and eliminated uncertainty. It is straightforward. We can get answers from a single, trusted manufacturer, without unproductive back-and-forth exchanges with multiple suppliers. It’s helpful to have the continuity and support – and the confidence of warranty protection – from [Dow.]

Jerry Jensen, Project Manager, external cladding contractor

Additionally, the all-silicone compatibility of the DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System allowed materials to be applied in any order, eliminating sequencing delays and expenses.

Learn More About DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System

Dow High Performance Building solutions include proven and innovative materials for structural and protective glazing, weatherproofing, insulating glass, high-efficiency insulation, and window and door fabrication. Learn more about the DOWSIL Silicone Air Barrier System and other High Performance Building solutions from Dow.


Last Modified: December 24, 2019

Coming Dec. 12th! Sika® and ARCHITECT Seattle 365 Event – Earn up to 3 AIA credits!

Join Sika and ARCHITECT at Seattle '365'
Join Sika and ARCHITECT at Seattle ‘365’

Thursday, December 12, 2019. Earn up to 3 AIA credits at Seattle 365, at the elegant Renaissance Seattle Hotel downtown. Admission is free. Presented by Sika Corporation and Architect Magazine.


10:00 AM
Arrival & Registration
Tradeshow (open entire event)

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Breakout Sessions – (AIA/HSW/GBCI credits earned)

  • Resinous Floor and Wall Systems for Food & Beverage Environments (1 LU/HSW)
  • Masonry Veneer Cladding Systems Installation, Code Compliance & Continuous Insulation (1 LU/HSW)
  • What Makes a Thermoplastic Roof Sustainable? (1 LU/HSW)

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM FREE LUNCH

Keynote Speaker: Josh Sawislak AICP, Principle, CLIO Strategies, LLC presenting Sustainability & Resiliency (1 LU/HSW)

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Breakout Sessions – (AIA/HSW/GBCI credits earned)

  • Fiber Reinforced Concrete Now and in the Future (Non Credit)
  • Advantages of Continuous Insulation in Steel Stud Construction (1 LU/GBCI)
  • Liquid Applied Roofing and Waterproofing Membranes (1 LU/HSW)

2:00 PM Networking & Tradeshow

Sika and ARCHITECT Seattle 365

Register Now!

Last Modified: November 15, 2019

South Puget Sound Facilities Maintenance Expo 2019

South Sound Facilities Maintenance Expo Attendees
South Sound Facilities Maintenance Expo Attendees

Plant engineers and building maintenance professionals, attend the South Puget Sound Facilities Maintenance Expo on November 7, 2019 at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup. Admission is Free!

Stop by the Atlas Supply booth #216 to learn about the latest facilities maintenance solutions from Bostik Smart Adhesives to DOWSIL™ High Performance Building (HPB) Silicones.

Facilities Maintenance Expo Location

Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Ave SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

South Puget Sound Facilities Maintenance Expo

Attend For Free!

How To Apply MasterEmaco® T 1060 Repair Mortar

BASF MasterEmaco T 1060 Cement-Based, Concrete Repair Mortar packaged in a 50 pound bag
BASF MasterEmaco T 1060 Cement-Based, Concrete Repair Mortar packaged in a 50 pound bag

Watch how to apply MasterEmaco T 1060 cement-based, concrete repair mortar (Video Transcript). Then learn more about the materials, tools and accessories required to do the job safely and efficiently.

MasterEmaco T 1060 Repair Mortar Application Video Transcript

  • Concrete must be structurally sound and fully cured. Surface should be prepared following current ICRI Guideline No. 310.2R surface preparation guide.
  • Surface to be repaired must be saturated-surface dry (SSD) with no standing water
  • Precondition material to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius)
  • Add 5.5 pints (2.6 L) of potable water into a clean mixing container
  • Gradually sift in powder, 1/3 of the bag at a time, while mixing continuously at a slow speed
  • Mix for a minimum of 3 minutes to ensure a uniform, lump-free consistency
  • Using a stiff bristle broom, scrub a small quantity of mixed material into the SSD substrate
  • Work material firmly into the bottom and sides of patch. Avoid feather edging.
  • Placement time is approximately 5-10 minutes
  • Finish the completed repair as required
  • Cure with an approved curing compound that complies with ASTM C309 or ASTM C1315
  • Refer to the MasterEmaco T 1060 technical data guide for more information.

Repair Mortar Application Materials, Tools and Accessories

Materials, Tools and Accessories – Shown

  • Protective Gloves – 4-mil nitrile, disposable glove
  • Protective Clothing – Long-sleeve sweatshirt
  • MasterEmaco T 1060 Repair Mortar – Very rapid-setting, cement-based, concrete repair mortar
  • Mixing Container
  • Cordless Drill
  • Mixing Paddle
  • Stiff Bristle Broom
  • Beveled Hand Float
  • 2 inch x 4 inch Screed Board
  • Pool Trowel
  • Masonry Brush – 6 1/2 X 1 3/4
  • Concrete Curing Compound – ASTM C309 or ASTM C1315-compliant.

Precautionary Accessories – Not Shown

Refer to the MasterEmaco T 1060 Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for more information.

  • Eye Protection
  • Face Protection
  • Respiratory Protection – In case of inadequate ventilation.


Last Modified: December 26, 2019