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Chicago Winds and Housewrap Don't Mix

The temporary construction elevator on Denk and Roche Carpentry’s Optima II Tower project in Downtown Chicago, IL, is a testament to the peace of mind that comes with having a built-in water-resistive barrier on ZIP System® sheathing. The 57-story building will be a prominent structure in the Optima Chicago Center off East Illinois Street in the well-known Streeterville area of the city.

The temporary construction elevator, sometimes referred to as a “skip elevator,” is built to help crews deliver materials easily from the exterior during high-rise construction. The structure will ultimately be ripped out and closed in. The skip elevator in the Optima II project uses over 800 panels of ZIP System sheathing – a high-performance engineered wood panel with a built-in water-resistive barrier that eliminates the need for housewrap.

“Because materials are stored inside these areas, the exterior of these temporary external elevators still need to meet rough dry-in,” said Huber Engineered Woods Mid-Atlantic Business Development Manager Brian Shores. “Typically these high-rise structures use plywood and housewrap to provide structure and protection against the elements, but in downtown Chicago, the winds can cause a real headache having to deal with housewrap repairs.”

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