GCI Consultants, LLC, was retained by the project architect to upgrade the existing façade of Baptist Health Systems’ headquarters in Coral Gables, FL, to meet and exceed current Miami-Dade County Hurricane Impact Standards. Because of its importance as the corporate headquarters for a major hospital system, the owner wanted the building to be able to resist category five hurricane wind speeds.

The Challenge: The property was developed before the new hurricane codes were enacted. The building was primarily enclosed by an aging curtain wall glazing system and was experiencing some water intrusion.

Services: GCI conducted a survey and analysis of the existing curtain wall glazing system and recommended upgrades to meet the owner’s requirements. Our design added structure to the outside of the existing curtain wall framing that allowed for the use of new impact resistant insulated laminated glass. The curtain wall framing was reinforced to meet the higher wind loads, and anchors to the structure were replaced. The design did not disrupt the interior finishes, and the building remained fully operational throughout the construction process. Individual offices were only affected for one day when the glass was being changed at that location. During construction, GCI provided site inspections and field water infiltration testing.

Results: The project was successfully completed. Water leakage issues were eliminated and the building now exceeds building code requirements.