Imfuna Case Study: Curtain Wall Failure

In our recent case studies, we have focused on how Imfuna’s surveyor and property inspection apps can help boost businesses and sole traders working in this industry.

What we haven’t covered is the way Imfuna can help to solve single issues.

That’s why in this month’s case study, we are going all the way to San Francisco, and a 40-storey condominium building that discovered some problems with a curtain wall feature that had been recently installed.

With such a big job, the investigators needed an accurate and reliable tool to take many images and notes across the property.

And that’s where Imfuna comes in.

But before we get there, let’s start at the beginning.

A San Francisco Curtain Wall

There are plenty of stunning buildings throughout San Francisco.

The Transamerica Pyramid, the City Hall, and the Salesforce Tower just to name a few.

The building we are focussing on was equally stunning thanks to a curtain wall that had been added.

A curtain wall is a lightweight structure that is usually made from aluminium and glass. Curtain walls are non-structural, meaning they only hold up their own weight, and can leave a great visual effect on the side of a building.

Our building was no different, with aluminium fins added with the sole aim of creating a more interesting building façade.

But it didn’t take long before problems with the fins started to occur.

Curtain Wall Failures

Aluminium is susceptible to corrosion, especially when open to the elements such as on our curtain wall.

To stop this from happening, a coating can be applied. Using a proprietary durable coating system and covering all of the aluminium that was exposed and likely to corrode was an essential job.

This coating was meant to last at least forty years, but soon after installation corrosion was already visible.

This was a big problem, as with the aluminium corroding already, and the curtain wall in place and hard to reach, it was going to be tough to diagnose and repair the issues.

Following an initial laboratory analysis of the coating failures, a team of forensic engineers and architects got to work trying to determine the extent of the corrosion problems. Once the issues were found, they would be an integral part of developing a repair strategy.

With over 180,000 square feet of curtain wall to cover, this was no mean feat.

At the centre of the investigation was a visual survey that would be formed around a strategic plan of sampling sixty different locations.

What they needed to do this, was a tool that could reliably capture the conditions at every identified location.

Considering this would have to be done while suspended off the side of the building made the hunt even harder, and they needed something lightweight yet effective.

And that’s where Imfuna came in.

Finding the Perfect Surveying Tool

So, what did the team of investigators need?

Well, to start with the images needed to be of good quality. This was vital to making sure the corrosion was clearly identified and analysed.

It was also important to provide information alongside each image, such as which of the sixty locations it was from.

It also needed to be consistent, in the observation criteria and reporting. All of the reports and information were being used to settle a million-pound dispute, so needed to be clear and accessible to many different parties.

What the investigators really didn’t want was a big, clunky reporting tool. When suspended off the side of the building, it would have been impossible to take the right images and record all of the needed information with something large.

Of course, once the data had been recorded, it needed to be analysed. This meant the surveyor tool required had to be able to rapidly and efficiently summarise thousands of observations for analysis, as well as be able to readily retrieve specific observation records from the group in an instant.

And finally, it had to have the capacity to solve the issue.

This meant through the data that was stored, rational repair proposals and methods had to be developed. There were millions of pounds being disputed, so the evidence couldn’t be wrong in the slightest.

So which app did they find that can handle such a big job?

imfuna surveyor app

Imfuna Surveyor App to the Rescue

What they found was the Imfuna Surveyor App.

This was the perfect option for them to settle the dispute and resolve the issues.

So, how did it work?

Well, they used Imfuna’s lightweight nature (all the investigators needed was a smartphone device to take photos and record notes and Imfuna took care of the rest) to build comprehensive reports across all sixty locations.

These reports were consistent and easily accessible, making them ideal for use when analysing the results, and when using them to resolve the dispute.

All of the information was clear and readily available whenever anyone needed it.

Covering such a space on suspended platforms while trying to record results would have been impossible without Imfuna Surveyor App and using the reports and information that came out of the investigation, the case was resolved.

Imfuna Surveyor App for You

You may not deal with curtain wall corrosion a lot, but that doesn’t mean Imfuna can’t take your business to the next level.

If you are a property inspector, surveyor, or someone with a specific issue like the San Francisco curtain wall, then Imfuna can help to create accurate and efficient reports in an instant.

Get in touch with our team today for more information on our software.

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