Washington, D.C., Office Building Renovations

In the highly competitive business district of Washington, D.C., property owners understand the importance of commercial curb appeal in attracting tenants, which is one reason they specify masonry coatings from Tnemec for exterior maintenance of high-profile office buildings. “Standard latex acrylic coatings that are typically used on these buildings don’t perform well,” Tnemec coating consultant Todd Guntner explained. “They tend to break down with the freeze-thaw cycling issues that you have in eastern Mid-Atlantic states. These buildings require a coating system that won’t crack, chip or peel under freeze-thaw conditions.”

Guntner cited the example of a 12-story office building at 1101 L Street NW, where a two-coat masonry system was specified for exterior aggregate panels as part of a renovation project in the early 1990s. The uncoated panels were power-washed with a biodegradable cleaner and primed with Series 151-1051 Elasto-Grip FC, a waterborne modified polyamine epoxy used for sealing masonry substrates. The topcoat was Series 156 Enviro-Crete, a flexible, breathable waterborne acrylate that offers excellent elastomeric protection against driving rain, alternate freezing and thawing and ultraviolet (UV) light. The project required approximately 1,500 gallons of coatings, which were brushed and rolled. “The coating system looks great after all these years,” Guntner observed. “And these coatings are very low-VOC (volatile organic compound) products.”

The L Street project led to the same coating system being specified for other high-profile commercial properties at M Street and Connecticut Avenue and I and 17th Streets in Washington, D.C. Uncoated aggregate panels on the Connecticut Avenue building had become discolored over the years from window-washing chemicals and street pollution. “The building’s owner had tried power-washing the panels, but they were still stained, so they coated them with Series 151 and Series 156,” Guntner noted.

The I Street project involved a masonry substrate that was coated 15 years earlier with an epoxy coating that was losing its color. After the coated substrate was power-washed with a biodegradable cleaner, it was primed and topcoated by the coating contractor, Metro Painters, Inc. In addition to sealing cementitious and other porous substrates, Series 151 is an excellent tie-coat over sound existing coatings.

“The 1001 L Street project has led to a number of other owners specifying this coating system because of its performance,” Guntner noted.

    Project Information

    Wasington, D.C.


    Blake Real Estate, Washington, D.C.

    Shalom Baranes Architects, Washington, D.C.

    Field Applicator
    NLP Enterprises, Owings Mills, Maryland

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