GE Elemax* AWB enables innovation in remote windswept facility
Antelope Valley Health Care Facility
Savvy desert design
Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest not-for-profit health providers in the United States, planned a net-zero energy use facility to bring specialty medical services to patients in California’s remote Antelope Valley. The design featured a large, custom curtain wall to streamline air flow and a turbine to generate energy in this desert region where wind gusts can reach 90 mph and temperature fluctuates greatly from day to night. Kaiser’s architecture team chose GE Elemax* air and water barrier (AWB) to stand up to these daily environmental stressors, and help achieve energy efficiency to meet a goal of LEED (Platinum) Certification.
“GE Elemax was the only solution for us. No other AWB stays as resilient against daily, continuous exposure to the elements.”
— Patricia Reyes Cappelli, Kaiser Permanente Project Director, Architect, and Director of Design
Ambitious open joints
Kaiser’s plan called for an open joint rain screen system with 8" gaps to accommodate the winds―much larger than the 2" gaps that are typical for such buildings. This size meant that the harsh desert sun and rain from occasional storms would come in direct contact with the selected AWB throughout the building’s life.
The 100% silicone formulation of GE Elemax coating is able to withstand these conditions. Durable, waterproof, and permanently flexible, GE Elemax coating allows the building to excel in form and function with an open joint façade appropriately sized for the wind load. “GE Elemax was the only solution for us,” said Patricia Reyes Cappelli, Kaiser Permanente Project Director, Architect and Director of Design. “No other AWB stays as resilient against daily, continuous exposure to the elements.”
Super stability and waterproofing
Because GE Elemax coating is permeable, it can stop bulk water penetration while regulating air and moisture vapor flow through the building envelope, which can reduce a building’s energy use by up to 35%—a key to meeting Kaiser’s net-zero energy and LEED goals. Its stability and waterproofing properties also help protect against water leakage that can lead to mold, mildew, rot, and dust―crucial in a healthcare setting.
Opened in September 2014, GE Elemax coating has helped the Kaiser Permanente facility realize daily energy savings and water protection benefits while supporting comfort and wellbeing for the patients and staff inside.
Pioneered by GE. Refined by GE.
With a history of dedication to innovation and excellence, today’s family of GE Silicones products address a wide variety of the ever-inventive, increasingly demanding architecture found around the world. Outstanding durability, flexibility, and movement capability are fundamental to the high performance of GE Silicones. With decades of experience, in new and remedial applications, on some of the world’s most innovative structures, the sealants team provides knowledge and comprehensive support to help ensure a project is successful.
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