NWGS

PORTLAND, OR

After a 2016 natural gas explosion significantly damaged the NWGS building on NW 23rd Avenue, R&H was hired to return this five-story mixed-use structure to it’s original, award-winning design. With much of the building heavily damaged from the explosion, the building was stripped down to its structural core before reconstruction began. In addition to the challenge of rebuilding a damaged structure in a high-traffic neighborhood, other hurdles arose because the building, originally completed in 2000, was not designed to current seismic code.

The finished building features commercial space on the first and second floors, office space on the third floor and a private residence on the fourth and fifth floors. The private residence includes many high-end finishes such as Italian floor tiles, Japanese restroom tiles and countertops from France. The building’s slate exterior tile was imported from Brazil.

Progress

NWGS was originally completed in 2000, therefore the building was not designed to current seismic code. To bring the building up to current code, R&H teams used silicone sheets during the building’s reconstruction. These sheets not only permit flexibility of the design to the building’s structure, they also act as a weather barrier. The sheets, thin flexible membranes, sit against the side of the structure and allow the building to drift up to 2.5” in the event of an earthquake without compromising the weather barrier. This 2.5” of drift is equal to an additional 200% of elongation movement and 75% compression movement, giving the building’s envelope the movement needed to better withstand an earthquake.

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