The upper sections of a curved, glass building facade where four workers hang from ropes while performing water leak testing.

Courthouse Curtain Wall & Fenestration System Investigation

Innovative Investigations

Project Facts

Location Kansas City, Missouri
Owner GSA Region 6


To combat severe water infiltration at the Whittaker Courthouse, our team of experts employed cutting-edge technology, including infrared thermography, to assess the building envelope, pinpointing water entry points through cracks, faulty sealants, and gaps in the window system. Our investigation provided valuable insights for effective repairs and prevented further water damage.

A worker in a hardhat suspended from rope and harness system inspects water leaks on skyscraper exterior. The glass exterior of the building reflects an urban skyline.

Exterior of a multi-story building featuring two curved light-colored concrete towers on each side, with a central section composed of long rows of glass panels. The entrance leads to a spacious lawn bordered by meticulously arranged trees and shrubs.

Three workers in with helmets are suspended from rope and harness system to inspect water leaks on skyscraper exterior. The glass exterior of the building reflects an urban skyline, and a large and expansive lawn lines with shrubs and trees is below them.

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About the project

We conducted a thorough assessment of the curtain wall and exterior fenestrations that included interior observation, infrared thermography, water testing on selected areas, and a visual assessment of exterior storefronts and the south skylight.

Additionally, our team performed an extensive study of the building’s exterior after water-staining inside the building indicated several points of water infiltration. Special attention was paid to the north and south curtain walls, as well as the east and west punched and slot windows. Through a series of drops via rope access, we discovered a number of failures in the window system, including missing fasteners, weathered sealants, gaps in exterior gaskets, metal panel gaps in fin locations, and improperly joined metal panels.

During water testing, the team examined an area known for extensive leaking. We found that water was infiltrating through a crack in the precast panel and through all structural sealant assemblies. Similarly, the team pinpointed several fenestration assemblies and perimeters with air exfiltration and/or thermal bridging.