Massive air barrier project at UCLA completed with sprayable Cat 5

Two distinct projects at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) recently were completed in time for students to return to campus for the 2021 fall semester. Lot 15 Residence Halls and Southwest Campus Apartments total five 8- to 10-story buildings and approximately 700,000 square feet of air barriers.

With the design by Mithun and the guidance of general contractor PCL, the air barrier installation was completed over 2.5 years by three air barrier contractors: Caston Inc., TruTeam and Southwest Specialties Contractors.

For the ~700,000 square feet of air barriers on both complexes, the chosen product to waterproof the air barrier was PROSOCO's R-Guard Cat 5, a popular fluid-applied, air and waterproof barrier designed to produce a highly durable, seamless weatherproofing membrane over the field of the wall.

Alex Amaya, superintendent for Southwest Specialties Contractors, said his company's portion of the installation of Cat 5 went much more quickly than he expected, because Southwest Specialties crews were using a new sprayable version of the product. In sprayable form, Cat 5 is easier and faster to install.

Cat 5 met the company's standards for delivering the best product for their customers, and it was backed by a company that matched Southwest's mission of providing consistently reliable support.

Amaya said: "One thing I love about my job is watching these projects from start to end, and making sure we provide the best quality product we possibly can and the best service. UCLA is one of the most prestigious and well-known colleges in the United States, and we've been given the pleasure to put up their next dormitory. We are topping this building off with excellence and coming in with PROSOCO Cat 5 air barrier, and we're spraying it, so we're sealing the building off."

"Our scope of work is 180,000 square feet of air barrier that we're installing, but that's just the sheathing. The whole size of the project is huge."

"The thing I like about Cat 5 is you get to spray it once and walk away from it, and you don't have to revisit to find any pinholes or light areas. What you spray is what you get. I've used other air barriers where you have to 3-coat the flashing, so you're revisiting the same joint three times. With this stuff, you're going out there, you're buttering it up once, and you're walking away from it. The product saves a lot of time. You're getting in, getting out and rocking and rolling without having to revisit the same area multiple times."

"Between Southwest Specialty Contractors and PROSOCO, we're giving them the best R-Guard system. We didn't hesitate on using the product. Once we got our hands on it and were able to use it in in-field conditions, it's a great product."

"One of the things I like (about) working with PROSOCO, is their reps are always on call. You can email them, you can call them and they will respond to you in a timely fashion. They come and visit the job, where in other instances , you can't get reps out there. With PROSOCO, they call you. They wanna know what's going on, how the project is going. They're really involved and hands-on. My rep is always at the job, always visiting and calling to make sure that we're good."