October Feature: Crossroads Business Park

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The Crossroads Business Park is a modern, 1.5 million-sq.-ft. (139,354 m2) office and retail space in sunny Southern California.

Temperature fluctuations, large-format stone tile and high elevations pose installation challenge

By Arthur Mintie CSI, CDT, LATICRETE senior technical services director

The Crossroads Business Park is a modern, 1.5 million-sq.-ft. (139,354 m2) office and retail space in sunny Southern California. It features a host of modern amenities and a progressive design that includes large-format travertine natural stone tile on the façade of the building.

The developers were committed to a sustainable building process and employed a number of innovative approaches in the construction that posed several challenges. The building is four stories tall and was built using concrete, tilt-up walls, meaning that the walls were poured horizontally and then hoisted into place and tied together.

LATICRETE was brought in early in the process to identify the best materials and implementation to achieve the desired results for the exterior tiling.

“With more than 80,000 sq. ft. (7,432 m2) of stone tile on the exterior, reaching up four stories, proper installation with reliable materials was critical,” said Brett Spencer, LATICRETE regional sales manager. “LATICRETE was able to deliver not only the best adhesives and grouts, but also help the clients achieve their sustainability goals.”

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A host of modern amenities and a progressive design was planned for the project, including large-format travertine natural stone tile on the façade of the building.

Challenges

Builders faced two major challenges with this project:

DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT – Surface temperatures on buildings in Southern California vary widely throughout the day, often swinging from as low as 60°F (15.5°C) overnight to 120°F (48.8°C) degrees in the heat of the day. Because of these dramatic shifts, expansion joints need to be larger than normal to avoid thermal shock and ensure consistent performance. In addition, the building is often exposed to wind-driven rain and must remain completely protected from that moisture.

SIZE OF THE TILE AND HEIGHT OF INSTALLATION – The 12” x 36” (30.5 x 91.4 cm) large-format travertine natural stone tiles used on the building façade are quite heavy, posing additional liability issues on a four-story building with walkways below. Permanent, dependable adhesion is absolutely required to avoid any potential issues with tiles falling from the building.

A LATICRETE solution

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LATICRETE 254 Platinum thin-set mortar was chosen for certain adhesion of the large-format tiles, installed as high as four stories up.

Van Nuys, Calif.-based Certified Tile, Inc. chose LATICRETE for its proven solutions in these kinds of applications.

To address the location’s difficult elements, Certified Tile, Inc. used the right waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane and grout to ensure the installation would stand for years to come.

To waterproof the entire installation from rain, moisture and the elements and to provide anti-fracture protection from the substrate, Certified Tile, Inc. used LATICRETE HYDRO BAN®.

HYDRO BAN is a thin, load-bearing waterproofing and anti-fracture membrane. This single-component, self-curing liquid rubber polymer forms a flexible, seamless waterproofing membrane and bonds directly to a wide variety of substrates.

To accommodate the larger-than-normal expansion joints necessary to avoid thermal shock created by extreme temperature variations, Certified Tile, Inc. used LATASIL™ silicone sealant to treat the movement joints. The sealant was color-matched to PERMACOLOR® Grout, offering a seamless transition to the movement joints that allows for expansion and contraction.

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The building is four stories tall and was built using concrete, tilt-up walls, meaning that the walls were poured horizontally and then hoisted into place and tied together.

PERMACOLOR Grout is a high-performance, fast-setting grout that provides a grout joint that is dense and hard. It also provides outstanding color consistency and improved stain resistance.

LATASIL™ is a high-performance, one component, neutral-cure, 100% silicone sealant designed for ceramic tile and stone applications.

Addressing the size and height of the project required use of another LATICRETE product. To ensure the project’s large-format tiles stayed in place, Certified Tile, Inc. used 254 Platinum to adhere the tiles to the structure.

254 Platinum, the ultimate one-step, polymer fortified, thin-set mortar for interior and exterior installation of ceramic tile, stone, quarry tile, pavers, and brick was used to adhere the tiles to the building. 254 Platinum, designed to just mix with water, has a long open time with unsurpassed adhesion and workability and contains antimicrobial protection to inhibit the growth of stain-causing mold and mildew in the substrate.

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The heavy 12” x 36” large-format travertine natural stone tiles used on the building façade required permanent, dependable adhesion to avoid potential issues with tiles falling from the building.

“The stone tile is the highlight of the building as visitors approach, so we needed the best possible installation that will hold up over time,” remarked John R. Burroughs, LEED AP Commerce Construction Co., L.P. “LATICRETE products give us the performance we need and give the project’s owners peace of mind.”

Outcome

The installation took a little more than three months to complete and the materials come with a 25-year warranty. With the right products, Commerce Construction was able to achieve the elegant look the client wanted while attaining an installation that will hold up well to the constant heat and occasional rain of the area. The building is a success and is a centerpiece of the business park, helping to draw a variety of tenants who appreciate the outstanding construction quality.

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The installation took a little more than three months to complete and the setting materials come with a 25-year warranty.