Tight deadlines and technically challenging site conditions can make or break a project, especially when faced with the requirement to ensure office operations in the building will continue during renovations. When Gensler Architects approached UZIN regarding technical help with the renovation of their Washington, D.C. headquarters, a project team was assembled to assist and help the project run smoothly. UZIN partnered with Mid-Atlantic Floors and Gensler’s team of architects and designers, project managers and other sub-contractors. The team had less than 48 hours to renovate a portion of the second floor of the office complex while the office continued to operate during regular business hours, meaning the team had to plan and outline the project and then begin work on Friday night and completely finish the first phase by Monday morning.

After initial demolition, construction and substrate preparation, the team first primed the floors on the second level in all common areas, lobby/reception area, kitchen and corridors with UZIN PE 414 Primer to help minimize cracking and later applied UZIN PE 280 Primer as a bonding agent prior to leveling. Contractors then installed UZIN’s NC 170 leveling compound over the old concrete throughout these same areas. The PE 414 added surface strengthening properties and speed, and the PE 280’s carbon fiber technology and fast dry capabilities allowed the installation team to save valuable time. When the leveling application was complete, Pallmann Pall-X 96 and Pall-X 98 finishes were applied as a final sealer coat. These highly durable finishes were perfect for the high wear commercial areas throughout this project. So the team was able to prep, prime, level and seal in time for the start of work on the following Monday morning.

After completing the second floor, the project team then began work on the ground floor. Even though the timeline for this level was more generous than the second floor, with a full four weeks allowed for renovations, the team still had to work around other trades and meet a deadline for a scheduled open house event. A major challenge on this floor was to create a flat and level surface in and around the ground floor conference room. Because this room included a large area of moveable glass walls, contractors had to precisely level the floor to ensure the walls would continue to open and close according to spec. The team placed UZIN NC 170 leveling compound in the 1,500 square foot space, at depths up to 2”. This particular leveling compound provided a hard yet absorbent finish at depth while its high flow capabilities produced the extremely flat, level and smooth substrate needed to meet all of the clearance requirements for the movable glass walls.

While the conference room presented a leveling challenge to contractors, the main lobby and reception area presented a completely different type of challenge that included an installation over existing concrete in very poor condition. With the concrete in such poor shape, a full demolition of the substrate would have greatly benefited the final installation, however, time and logistics prevented this from happening. Despite these difficulties, the team was able to create a smooth and crack free concrete floor in the time frame allotted. This was done by incorporating the use of UZIN RR 201 Substrate Reinforcing Mesh, UZIN RR 203 Crack-Bridging material and UZIN PE 460 MVR/Primer that was applied to help consolidate and control the movement of the weak and dis-bonded concrete topping over top of the original concrete substrate. The reinforcing mesh’s high elasticity and tensile strength assisted in strengthening the new leveling compound while the crack-bridging material’s fiberglass reinforcing strands helped to bridge any substrate cracks and joints. After the final leveling compound application, Pallmann Pall-X 96 and Pall-X 98 finishes were again used as a sealer for the surface. Other than a wood flooring installation on the ground floor around the conference room, all other UZIN leveling compound applications were used as the final finished floor surface.

Throughout the process, all representatives on the project team worked together closely to meet the requirements set by Gensler. Flexibility by each party involved allowed changes to be made fairly quickly and kept this commercial project on track and within the timeframes laid out by the customer.