Merkrete Products highlight the beauty of efficiency at the Atlantic Condominium tower
|Subscribe to FREE newsletter||Dec 11, 2016|
Even in today’s troubled economic times, cities must grow and evolve. Landscapes change and skylines reflect new visions and shifting directions. Though not immune from construction pullbacks, Atlanta, Ga., continues toreinvent itself and make its case as one of the South’s most enduring symbols of urban energy and hospitality.
Atlantic Station, a 138-acre live-work-play community featuring high-rise residences, office towers, retail establishments and a flagship hotel, offers proof that Atlanta is still planning its future with verve and imagination. One of the keystones of this dynamic project is The Atlantic, an elegant 46-story Art Deco-style condominium tower offering upscale living quarters with dazzling views of Buckhead and Midtown. In keeping with the building’s sophisticated, contemporary tone, the residences feature sleek architectural lines and an abundance of rich tile accents. Clearly, the tile and stone installations here required experienced hands and innovative products.
Steady performerThat’s why Andrews & Associates, the primary tile installer at The Atlantic, called upon a familiar, trusted name in Mer-Krete Systems to provide all of the stone and tile underflooring products. Mer-Krete, a division of ParexLahabra, had assisted Andrews on the very successful renovation of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a couple of years earlier. Mer-Krete’s steady performance on that job, coupled with the convenience of its Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility, convinced Andrews to return to its dependable source once more.
Mer-Krete provided, through the largest U.S. distributor Daltile, a host of vital components, including Mer-Krete’s patented 801 Self-Curing Thin-Set, Mer-Stik dry polymer mastic adhesive and the Sound-Shield 7000 sound-suppression mat, in addition to Mer-Krete grouts and other installation enhancements. All of the residential entryways, bathroom floors, backsplashes, tub and shower surrounds, as well as the lobby areas, required numerous problem-solving materials from the Mer-Krete arsenal – approximately 170,000 square feet in the residences and 20,000 square feet in the lobbies and common areas.
“It’s been a dream job so far,” said Jim Nassar, Andrews & Associates’ senior project manager for The Atlantic. “All of the products are performing extremely well, and the Mer-Stik mastic has been a perfect choice for working in a 46-story building such as this. Because Mer-Stik comes in powder form, it’s lightweight and easy to carry around, so we save a lot of time bringing it up and down. It mixes up smoothly and it sets quickly, enabling us to grout our tiles in less than four hours. Mer-Stik also maintains its consistency so you just cover the pail at the end of the day and use it again the next morning. It’s a truly revolutionary concept in adhesive technology.”
Keeping it quietThe Andrews team, led by Nassar and John Melilli, director of operations, selected Mer-Krete’s SoundShield 7000 sound mat for multiple reasons, as well. Sound-rated up to 63, more than 20 percent higher than the recommended IIC rating number, fiber-reinforced Sound-Shield 7000 is also an ANSI A118.2 rated anti-fracture membrane and acts as a 100 percent water vapor barrier. MerKrete 801 Thin-Set plays an integral role in the Sound-Shield noise reduction system since, typical of effective sound-reducing materials, the mat is non-porous, leaving no room for moisture release when laying porcelain tile on top. But the 801 product is a self-curing mortar that dries quickly without requiring a traditional evaporative process and delivers superior, shrinkage-free bond strength. The 801 Thin-Set has provided such outstanding results that Andrews Tile is utilizing it on all of the flat surface areas, even those without the sound mat.
“We really love the way that 801 Thin-Set cures,” noted Melilli. “It’s helped to dramatically speed up our applications throughout the entire building. The combination of the 801 and 705 Thin-Sets for the different areas gives us a lot of flexibility and helps us to maintain a cost-efficient process.”
Installer/supplier coordination is essentialAndrews, an established Georgiabased company that has worked on condominium projects, health facilities, hotels and upscale retail establishments, as well as the Atlanta airport concourse, is utilizing a variety of tile and stone selections for The Atlantic. Approximately 90 percent of the materials are Italian porcelain, and they include 12x12 floor tiles, 6x6 wall tiles and upgrade materials such as largeformat Carrera marble and travertine.
The marketing and sales group for The Atlantic has given homebuyers the option to customize various aspects, such as color, size and pattern, of the tile selections. As a result, Andrews’ tile installation team has been working throughout the tower in specific phases. This has added another layer of scheduling and management that requires good communication and coordination between installer and supplier.
“We’ve been taking great care to facilitate things wherever possible,” said Richard Johnson, Mid-Atlantic sales representative for Mer-Krete. “As our distributor in the area, Daltile has been very helpful, even storing some of the MerKrete materials at their nearby Duluth facility until Andrews has needed them. This combination of service has ensured that Andrews has received everything on time, every time. And, of course, on the other side, Jim Nassar and John Melilli have been very instrumental in keeping the process running smoothly.”
System warranty adds assuranceNassar has strong praise not only for the Mer-Krete products that his company is using at The Atlantic, but also for the extensive system warranty provided by Mer-Krete.
“The warranty was important to us because we always prefer single-source responsibility on a large job,” said Nassar. “Mer-Krete was the one supplier who came to the table and gave us a warranty that met our requirements and provided us with the support and assurances that we felt were necessary to move forward.”
Clint Anna, Mer-Krete national sales manager, stressed that his organization’s confidence in its products is the reason that such a significant system warranty is offered.
“We believe 100 percent in what we manufacture and sell,” Anna emphasized. “That’s why we stand so firmly behind our products and services. The warranty is an essential part of ourentire marketing approach. We’ve built our name upon solid, long-term relationships with our customers, and this is another example of establishing that important trust.”
Products, local sourcing offer green solutionsMer-Krete also offers many “green” solutions with its products, such as those being used at The Atlantic. Sound-Shield 7000 is composed of recycled tires and, like the versatile Mer-Stik mastic adhesive, is designated as a zero VOC product. Virtually all of the Mer-Krete materials are being shipped to the site from Mer-Krete’s Dalton manufacturing facility, less than 80 miles from Atlanta, qualifying for LEED credits by helping to reduce gas mileage and carbon emissions.
Tile work is about 75 percent completed at The Atlantic, which will be the tallest building in Midtown Atlanta and will feature a doorman, 24/7 concierge service, a spa retreat and, just a few steps from the front door, a restaurant and lounge. Pleasant green spaces, trendy cafes and openair retail shops will add to the upscale ambience of this “community within a community.”
In many ways, that same sense of community has contributed to the successful tile application process here at The Atlantic – the result of good communication among all members of a diversified team at every level. And all of this is held together by a strong foundation of proven Mer-Krete products that make it possible to work faster, think greener and build smarter in a construction atmosphere where every detail demands efficiency.
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