Puget Sound Energy Service Center

Beating the budget


Component Quantities: 60,000 sq ft of DensElement® Sheathing
Key Companies:
General Contractor: Tiger Construction Architect: Zervas Group Architects


The Puget Sound Energy Service Center in Bellingham, Washington has been servicing the needs of Whatcom County since the 1970’s. The company prides itself on offering safe and reliable energy while also protecting the environment through clean energy initiatives, animal and land conservation. After four decades of operation, the Bellingham facility needed a new facility to serve the growing population more efficiently.

The revitalization plan involved an increase from a 10,000 sq.-ft. center to a 28,000-sq.-ft. facility which includes a vehicle maintenance center and wire shop for their customer service needs, along with rain-harvesting technology, low-energy lighting, and recycled material for their sustainability objectives.

Time Demanded a Change in Specification

After hearing a presentation from Mike Fletcher of D-Seven about the cost and time savings benefits of DensElement Barrier System, Zervas Group Architects recommended it as the sheathing solution for the project. However, the general contractor, Tiger Construction, had already specified DensGlass® with a separate WRB. It wasn’t until the structural phase revealed an issue that the original specification was reconsidered. “There was an error made in budget preparation and it was realized early on that [Puget Sound Energy] had to save money over what was originally specified,” said Brenan Filippini, of Plastering Plus Northwest, the FastFlash® installer on the project.

With the project falling behind schedule, a reduced budget, and as Zervas Group Architects stated, “terrible” rainstorms native to the Pacific Northwest rolling through the build site, DensElement Barrier System became the best option for weatherproofing. Zervas Group wanted the nail seal ability of a fluid applied approach while eliminating the weather issues related to the installation of a coating over the entire surface. DensElement Barrier System with PROSOCO FastFlash® liquid flashing assured deadlines were met.

DensElement Reduced Job Time

“On the job site I realized only one subcontractor was installing the Prosoco FastFlash® liquid flashing,” said an impressed Andrew Kryzsiekd. In the original project schedule, 15 days were allocated to install DensGlass® and a water-resistant barrier by two installers. DensElement was installed in 10 days with just one installer.

"Cladding fastener ‘seal ability’ was a big reason for choosing DensElement® Barrier System."
‒Andrew Kyzrsiekd, Zervas Group Architects

Innovating Technology Makes It Possible

The layered construction of our AquaKOR Technology in our patent-pending system contributes to its success. The WRB-AB is integrated within the gypsum core, beneath the fiberglass mat, to create a consistent, performance-tested WRB-AB. No building wrap, fluid-applied membranes or peel-and-stick membranes are required. Bill Perry of Tiger Construction appreciated the elimination of a step in the process, “The Z girts to support the cladding did not have to be sealed.” With its high permeability, the system helps mitigate the risk of damage from moisture build-up in the wall cavity and helps protect against mold growth.

DensElement installs exactly like standard fiberglass mat gypsum sheathing. No re-training is required. It’s a process subs already know. They simply seal seams, fasteners, penetrations, corners, openings and transitions using PROSOCO FastFlash® liquid flashing and a putty knife to complete the DensElement install.

It completely eliminates an additional water-resistive barrier over the face of the sheathing. With one less product to apply, the job can get done more quickly. It allows any subcontractor to provide installation services, even if they’ve never installed waterproofing products. With more tradespeople able to install it, job completion time can be reduced.

Recognizing the DensElement innovation, ARCOM has created a custom MasterSpec® specification to accurately specify it – 061656 Air and Water Resistive Sheathing Board. Now, you can precisely specify the DensElement Barrier System.

Saving Time and Money

In addition to reduced labor costs and a larger pool of subcontractors to install it, Brenan Filippini noted several other advantages. “There’s less time on the scaffold and that means lower insurance exposure on the job.” Not having to shut down the job site due to weather was a major factor particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Being able to continue installation on rainy days helped Plastering Plus Northwest install the 60,000 sq. ft. of DensElement quickly. “It’s much easier to install than other fluid applied systems,” Brenan added.

Bill Perry wishes he would have known about DensElement sooner. “We were able to deliver a $30,000 credit back to the building owner due to the time and labor savings DensElement provided. And Andrew Krzysiekd of Zervas Architects was extremely pleased with the product. “We will definitely specify DensElement Barrier System on future commercial projects.”

Schedule a Hands-On Demo to See DensElement® Barrier System Today