The Colony


The Colony

< Back to Case Studies

Click photo to open a larger version. Once the larger version is open you can navigate to the next image in the series.

Colony Before Before Colony During Forensics Study During Colony After Forensics Study After

The Colony Condominium is a 39-dwelling-unit, 11-story high-rise timeshare condominium located on the Atlantic oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In late 2002 an investigation of the east-side exterior wall was conducted due to reports of ongoing incidences of moisture intrusion at many of the east facing dwelling units. The Colony, similar to many other buildings in its time, was clad in EIFS, (Exterior Insulation and Finish System). The existing metal studs in the east wall were found to be so corroded that they were no longer safe. Based on the results of investigation, the Association took immediate action and requested plans and specifications to be drawn up for the re-cladding of the exterior walls of the building.

To accommodate these special circumstances our Forensic Design Team designed a prefabricated wall system that utilizes the Pressure Equalized Rainshield System, (PERS), concept that was the first such retrofit of an existing building in Virginia Beach. The PERSS concept turns the pressure caused by blowing wind against itself to stop wall leaks. In fact, the harder the wind blows against the side of the building, the more leak-proof the walls become. In addition, they gained a significant increase in R-value to add to the thermal comfort of the occupants and lower energy costs.

Since The Colony is a timeshare condominium, construction down time was of the essence to the Association. Because of the innovative design of the panel overlay, the amount of construction down time for any one unit was only one week! Demolition work on the east wall began in late April, 2003 and the entire east side wall was complete by the end of May 2003. Construction work then halted during the summer tourist season, but resumed after Labor Day when the entire west wall was reclad in the PERSS panel system as well.

In conjunction with the re-cladding activities, The Colony Condominium Association, at our urging, decided to upgrade the design the exterior of their building. The design concept for this facelift included a new lobby addition onto the front of the building, new cornice work on all sides of the building, and a more aesthetically appealing rooftop parapet at the top of the elevator tower which now provides a striking and distinct image along the oceanfront skyline which is associated with The Colony. The 2003 cost of the redesign and re-cladding project was $1,800,000.00.

The redesign of this building won recognition from the City of Virginia Beach which gave the association and the architect a design award for the striking transformation. Today, The Colony Condominium has a striking new appearance that, in the words of one unit owner, "has given them increased resale values for the first time in a dozen years!"


Home    Forensic Architecture    Reserve Studies    Improvements    Overview    Articles    Contact Us