March Newsletter

cbeecherGCI Consultants ℠

GCI Consultants Appoints Mike Bowie as Senior Consultant at new Virginia Office.

GCI Consultants is pleased to announce the expansion of our expert team. Mr. Mike Bowie, Senior Consultant joined our GCI team in the Fall of 2015 and now will operate our new Virginia location.

This Virginia location further strengthens the regional footprint and client services of the company. GCI will have six locations including Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta and now Virginia.

The firm’s strategic plan calls for progressive growth over the next 10 years. Will Smith, President of GCI Consultants stated “We are naturally excited about the addition of Mr. Bowie to our team as well as our new location”. The depth of our talent has expanded over the last several years which lends itself directly to our growth”.

GCI has earned a solid reputation for expertise in the Glazing, Cladding, Water Proofing and Indoor Air Quality fields, by focusing on providing outstanding results for the firm’s clients. GCI has over 25 years of experience in consulting for the construction industry nationwide.

Mr. Bowie, Senior Consultant is heading our Virginia office. He provides more than 35 years of experience and has worked in all facets of the construction industry. He brings a unique perspective on issues that affect commercial and residential structures. He has a long track record of managing litigation work for a variety of construction and exterior building product manufacturers. Mike is highly skilled in corporate risk prevention, mitigation and management within the building industry having held a previous role as Director of Claims & Risk Management for a major manufacturer of exterior building products. During his tenure he conducted hundreds of inspections provided expert testimony and established protocol and procedures to ensure adherence to special account instructions and claim’s handling. Additionally, he has assisted in the development of industry window installation best practices.

More information about GCI Consultants can be found at
including downloadable resumes for our experts or contact us at
Mike Bowie can be contacted by calling 1-561-228-4277


GCI Consultants Announces the Everything Building Envelope
Podcast Series by Paul Beers

Visit Listen and Subscribe Today!

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — A unique podcast series is launching for those of you involved, working in and interested in the construction industry. Building owners, Architects, Construction Firms, Contractors and Vendors etc. will benefit and enjoy listening to this podcast series from Paul Beers, CEO of GCI Consultants, LLC.

Join Paul for the launch of his new podcast series.
“Everything Building Envelope”

Listen & Subscribe Today!

Paul and his guests will discuss various topics such as:

  • Everything related to the exterior building envelope
  • Best Practices
  • Emerging Trends
  • Water Infiltration
  • Litigation
  • Construction Methods
  • Hazards to Avoid

Join Paul March 1st for the kick-off of his “Everything Building Envelope” series! This podcast series is designed to discuss current industry information, to educate and to keep you informed of current trends as well as to address best practices from industry experts.

Click here:

GCI Consultants, LLC is a Building Envelope, Engineering and Consulting firm ( specializing in the entire exterior of buildings. The team consists of highly experience and dedicated experts with knowledge in all aspects of the building envelope. Our primary focus is to provide value to our clients by advising on proper performance of their buildings.

Janice Hoffman


Below Grade Waterproofing Initiatives Gain Support

Because of the complexity and countless variables in waterproofing materials that are typically involved in a construction project, various alternate options are often explored as part of the design & contract phase.

Cost and schedule reductions are the most common reasons these options are explored. GCI’s role is often that of providing guidance and assessment to our client’s during this process. However, GCI is also proactive in this process, working with engineers and manufacturers to look for better solutions to age-old methods.

One example is below grade waterproofing in Florida, where we have explored and successfully installed alternative application methods in an effort to reduce both cost and time.

Traditional Method

Florida has high water tables, particularly in the coastal regions requiring the use of below grade waterproofing materials and systems. The industry guideline is to place the waterproofing on the positive side, where water levels are within 3 feet of the bottom of the slab.

In high rise design, the below grade foundation support structures (large foundation matt slabs and numerous pile caps) are often directly connected to the basement/slab on grade. Based upon the waterproofing guidelines, and the need to maintain a continuous waterproofing layer, waterproofing has previously been necessary both of the support structures as well as beneath the slab.

However, buildings often have scores of pile caps and significant matt slabs making proper waterproofing an expensive and time consuming process.

The GCI Change

The discussion of exploring new alternative and more cost effective systems was raised by several of our clients in the design phase of a few projects GCI was involved with.

GCI outlined how only the habitable and/or air conditioned spaces needed to be waterproofed. The key to any solution was being able to separate this deck slab on grade from the structural support beneath.

Encouraged by clients GCI has worked with structural engineers and manufacturers to develop alternate solutions depending on the location of the slab on grade.

Where there is to be a basement condition or the slab on grade will sit in ground water: The placing of a layer of waterproofing within a cold joint in the structural concrete is discussed with the structural engineer. If they are not opposed to this concept, the structural concrete design and pour schedule are developed to allow for the horizontal basement/on grade deck slab to be poured separately from the foundation structural support elements. Beneath the deck slab is then waterproofed with a continuous horizontal layer of CETCO waterproofing materials passing over the top of the foundation structural elements. Only elevator pits are encapsulated.

Photo 1: Waterproofing is installed beneath the basement slab on grade. It is continued over the top of small piles and pile caps

Photo 2: Waterproofing is installed beneath the basement slab on grade. It is continued over the top of small piles and pile caps

David Gehlbach of CETCO has developed a standard set of details with their technical department. A combination of materials – Volclay Voltex for the areas on grade, Coretex across the top of the concrete, and Cetseal and Waterstop RX for penetrations and terminations/transitions are used. CETCO also reviews the design, providing project specific details and warranty coverage based upon the design.

Photo 3: Detailing at pile cap. Termination bar and mastic at material transition and at base of column. Reinforcing steel penetrations are not detailed yet.

Photo 4: Reinforcing steel penetrations are detailed with mastic at the material and Waterstop around the bar tied with baling wire or cable ties.

Where there is no basement condition: Often the slab on grade is well above the ground water mark. Separating it from the structural foundation elements will result in neither needing to be waterproofed. This is often done by redesigning or designing the building so that there is a few feet of compacted dirt between the slab on grade and the structural foundation supports.

Photo 5: No waterproofing is required to be installed around the foundation or large pile caps.

Photo 6: Separation between the slab on grade and foundation elements is created by compacting a few feet of dirt over the top of small piles and pile caps

The exception to the dirt separation is at the elevator pit locations where the base of the pit may often be within the water table. Smaller elevator pit elements are typically waterproofed on the exterior. However, where GCI has been asked to provide alternate options, is where the elevator pits are located within sizeable foundation mats.

Figure 1: The water table extends through the base of the elevator pit only. Typically the waterproofing would wrap around the elevator pit. However, the floor slab is further than 3 feet from the water.

Rather than follow the traditional exterior sheet membrane layer application around the perimeter of the mat, Crystalline Waterproofing products are used instead. Based upon the size of the foundation mat, using an additive within the concrete and a topical application on the interior side of the pit has provided a waterproof condition for the elevator pits. To date, GCI has used Penetron with success.

Figure 2: Plan view of Figure 1. The configuration of the foundation mat would require extensive sheet waterproofing to prevent water penetrating the elevator pits.

Figure 3: The solution was to replace the sheet waterproofing system with a crystalline waterproofing additive to all of the concrete for the foundation mat and a second topical crystalline waterproofing application to the interior surfaces

GCI has also had discussions with structural engineers and concrete sub-contractors about the design of the elevator pit within the foundation mat slab. As with the deck slab, if the concrete for the elevator pit walls and base can be separated from the rest of the foundation mat concrete, the amount of structural concrete requiring crystalline waterproofing additive can be reduced.

These alternative systems are warrantied and have resulted in significant savings in cost and time to owners, contractors and sub-contractors involved in the project.

Clients That Utilize GCI’s Waterproofing Support

  • Building owners
  • Architects
  • Developers
  • Building contractors
  • Product manufacturers
  • Product installers

If you are in need of waterproofing support, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced team at GCI Consultants, LLC to ensure your interests are protected. For more information about our services don’t hesitate to contact us today by phone at 561-689-0055or email

Water Infiltration Testing – West Palm Beach Residential Mid-rise

Construction contractors for an eight-story residential building in West Palm Beach retained GCI Consultants, LLC to perform water infiltration testing on three windows after interior drywall installation. The tested windows, two sliding and one fixed, were installed in concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls with an unpainted Portland cement stucco exterior, with perimeter sealant installed on the exterior between glazing system frames and CMU. Portions of interior window trim and drywall were removed prior to testing. All testing was performed in compliance with ASTM Test Method E 1105.

The first two specimens passed with no leakage issues. However, the third specimen, a horizontal sliding window over a fixed window, failed. Water flowed to the interior from multiple locations along the horizontal sliding window frame sill.

As a consequence, contractors had to inspect every installed window assembly and repair or modify them in a similar manner. Once the repairs were made, the faulty specimen would require re-testing until successful results were achieved, then testing two additional windows to confirm there would be no recurring problems elsewhere.

Had the contractors engaged GCI to conduct inspections earlier in the construction process when the first few windows were installed, issues causing leakage could have been prevented. In addition, they could have avoided the additional expense of removal and repair of existing drywall and other interior finish elements around tested window assemblies.

Water testing and related services provided by GCI Consulting:

  • Architectural Plans and Specifications Review
  • Shop Drawings and Submittals Review
  • Pre-Installation Conferences with Contractors and Sub-contractors
  • Field Water Infiltration Tests (ASTM E 1105)
  • Site Inspections to Verify Compliance

Follow this link to see consultant Chris Matthews demonstrate our water testing procedure:

Storefront Water Penetration Test