Transitions Between Diverse Envelope Systems

Facade Joints at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital





The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California features an extremely diverse set of facade systems within one continuous building envelope. Systems used include: shading devices including gratings, fins, and louvers; rain screen elements including natural stone, GFRC, precast concrete, sheet metal and insulated metal panels; and glazing systems including point supported, punched window, structural silicone, storefront and curtain wall. The variety of systems used and their interfaces with one another required a wide range of joint detailing solutions. Designing and building the interface between myriad systems became one of the largest challenges for the design and construction teams. Joint systems for seismic joints, thermal expansion joints, system transition joints, penetration joints and anchorage joints all presented unique challenges. Designers and builders, working together through the Design Assist/Design Build delivery method, successfully tied many disparate systems together to a complete envelope using a variety of joints including: proprietary break away panels, sliding joint covers, double sealant joints, single sealant joints with concealed air and water barrier (AWB), foam infill joints, sacrificial crumple panel with concealed AWB, slotted/sheathed metal panel, single sealant and flashing covering waterproofing transition to gasket, single sealant and flashing covering waterproofing transition to AWB, chicken-head gasketing, rubber isolation gaskets and plastic separation shims.


Many of the assemblies used on the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital are common assemblies: unitized curtain wall, storefront, point supported glass, GFRC on metal frame, punched windows, catwalks, insulated metal

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A primary challenge for the design and construction teams was to tie a variety of dissimilar systems together into a cohesive whole. The diversity of façade systems on the project

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Joint Strategies

Descriptions below explain the challenges associated with the design of each of the various joint types.

Seismic Joints

Seismic joints on the project were typically between disparate materials

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Analysis Through Performance Testing

Performance Test of Patient Bed Tower and Public Waiting Room Façades

In order to verify that the joint solutions developed by the design team and DA/DB sub-contractors would perform as

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Challenges and Solutions During Construction

Tolerances and Alignment Methods of Multiple Systems

Fitting the prefabricated GFRC and unitized curtain wall systems onto site-fabricated steel assemblies resulted in alignment challenges at panel joints and penetration joints

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The diversity of façade systems on the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital required the design and DA/DB teams to develop a wide array of joint designs for several joint types: seismic

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Andy would like to thank: Hajime Ishikawa, Chris Swigert, Chase Rongé, Rob Goodwin, Tom Silva, Tony Tan, Melvin Toddy, Anuj Bansal, Dima Franchuk, Mark Pasveer, and lastly, Kushagra Mittal – your commitment to coordination was second to none.

All photos by Perkins+Will.