Mill Creek is a 51-dwelling-unit condominium association comprised of ten buildings off of First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Each building is a two-story wood framed structure originally sheathed with gypsum sheathing under an Exterior Insulation Finish System, (EIFS) exterior cladding. Due to the community's close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Mill Creek is periodically lashed by Nor'easter storms which combine rain with intense wind for several hours which act to force water through even the smallest breaches in the building envelope.
In response to a warning regarding the deteriorating state of the EIFS cladding that was included in a Reserve Study performed at an earlier date, a moisture survey of the gypsum sheathing and EIFS cladding was requested and performed at Mill Creek. The results of the moisture investigation identified extensive moisture damage underneath the EIFS cladding that covered the exterior walls of the buildings. Several options were proposed for the re-cladding of the exterior walls that would enhance the aesthetic appearance of the buildings as well provide the weather protection that had been lacking. The Condominium Association then reviewed and approved a scheme that would upgrade and improve the appearance of the community to a contemporary residential appearance and which was most acceptable to the homeowners.
The new exterior cladding system incorporated a continuous moisture barrier and vertical drainage channel behind the siding to intercept any wind blown moisture before it can come into contact with the new wood sheathing and wood framing. While providing a continuous moisture barrier, the redesign of Mill Creek has incorporated several new architectural features such as circular columns at entry ways, sunburst pediments over garage doors, and windows, dovecotes, roof cupolas, as well as other trim details provided to enhance the overall appearance of each building. The re-cladding project utilized several products manufactured by the James Hardie Corporation which included HardiePanel, HardiePlank, HardieShingle, and HardieTrim. The cost of the recladding project with aesthetic enhancements to the community was $2,600,000.