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2016 Award: Associated Builders and Contractors – Houston Excellence in Construction Merit Award

Project: Energy Center III

Finish Interior

Energy Center III is a twenty story Class AA high-end office building located on a prime 18 acre site in Houston’s Energy Corridor. This 546,000 square foot pre-certified LEED office structure is the first of a three-phase development. Energy Center III features a campus environment with outdoor landscaping, seating areas, and large water features. The office tower boasts designated conference facilities, an on-site cafeteria, and a Sky Terrace on level 20 that is ideal for small executive meetings and entertaining in a dramatic outdoor area.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS) was responsible for the procurement and installation of over 7,100 sf of honed Gascogne beige flooring, 1,620 sf of polished Arabescato floors and walls, 6,700 sf of polished and filled Persian Red Travertine walls, 2,500 sf of Calacatta Cervaiole, 10,500 sf of thermal finished Rajah Black granite pavers / steps / planter veneer and 800 sf of polished Silestone Blanco Zeus lavatory tops. In addition, CMS supplied and installed the concrete masonry units and ceramic tile in the core restrooms.

The lobby wall was designed by the Architect to have a visual effect of stepping in and out as it extended upward. This was accomplished by using 3 cm, 5 cm, and 7 cm thick wall panels, some which exceeded 7 feet in length. The extreme weight of some of the stones coupled with the offset center of gravity and precise positioning necessitated engineered mechanical anchorage supporting each piece individually. Normally, mechanical anchorage does not offer the precision of the marble setter’s preferred wire and plaster anchorage but great care was taken to accurately locate the stones. The outward rotation loads of some of the pieces and the random locations of the anchor attachment dictated that the substrate is extremely stiff and more accommodating than the standard stud and sheathing backup. Accordingly, the stainless steel stone anchorage was secured to a solid grout filled CMU wall substrate which was supplied and installed by CMS.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. faced many challenges on the project. All stone was dry laid in Italy with each stones location preapproved. Due to the fragile nature of the Persian Red Travertine and the large piece sizes (some weighing in excess of 350 pounds) CMS was aware of the possibility of damage during shipping and installation. Since each stone had a specific location, any breakage would make it next to impossible to match adjacent stones. To minimize the probability of breakage, the travertine panels were reinforced for by cutting grooves into the back of the stones and epoxying stainless steel rods in the groves. Another challenge occurred on the polished Arabescato wall. The wall was initially designed to have backlit white glass panels. After construction, the owner determined that this was not the desired look. CMS was tasked with supplying Arabescato marble matching the previously supplied columns, walls and floors several months after substantial completion of the building. In addition, CMS had to incorporate the same blind anchorage system into the stones utilized by the glass subcontractors, thereby allowing erection on the previously installed support grid. The wall stones are absent caulk and are separated horizontally and vertically by decorative metal strips. Finally, the seemingly random appearance of the Persian Red Travertine is broken by the polished Arabescato marble strips. These strips continue on the interior floor and align perfectly with the exterior plaza strips which are visible through the mullionless glass storefront. The overall effect is one of seamless precision, elegantly tying the interior space to the exterior space.

Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. is extremely proud to have furnished and installed all the natural stone, ceramic tile and masonry on this project. The combination of stone materials created a stunning feature visible from the adjacent Eldridge Parkway, the main thoroughfare in Houston’s Energy Corridor.


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