A New Design for an Established Store
When Nordstrom, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected high-end retailers, launched a plan to build a series of new stores from California to Connecticut, their expectations were as discerning as their customers. To make its plans a reality, Nordstrom executives hired Kim Seeber of Seaboard Services to design and develop a new store prototype.
Nordstrom designers had a good deal of experience using exterior block walls, but the company wanted to explore the benefits of using insulated precast concrete sandwich walls which are manufactured in a controlled environment by highly trained craftsmen employing stringent production and testing procedures. As a result, precast wall systems consistently surpass performance requirements in both structural composition and aesthetic expectations.
“When I made my initial presentation, I was asked what the best insulation system was to use for these panels,” said Seeber. “Without hesitation, I told them Thermomass.”
An Ideal Solution
Seeber presented the Nordstrom team with a precast wall system design using a 4-inch exterior concrete layer, 2 inches of Thermomass System SC, and a 3-inch interior layer. This arrangement allowed for both one and two story panels and permitted them to be cast with conventional reinforcing or with pre-stressing strands. The Thermomass insulation provided the required moisture control and energy efficiency while the exterior 4-inch concrete layer allowed for the unique exterior architectural features Nordstrom desired.
Seeber’s Nordstrom design was first used on a prototype store in Columbia, Maryland. “They were amazed at how fast their building was enclosed by the precast panels,” says Seeber. “This allowed the other building trades to start their work in a weather-proof environment much earlier than with their previous construction scheme.”
Nordstrom has used Seeber’s precast panel system design and Thermomass insulation in more than thirty new stores across the country. Phil Felton, the precast fabricator on many of the Nordstrom facilities, recalls the Nordstrom store project in Newport Beach, California.
“Even though specifications allowed for other thermal insulation materials, we chose a Thermomass system,” said Felton. “The decision was based upon our past experience with Thermomass’ ability to consistently deliver quality products at competitive prices, while offering outstanding technical support.”
The success and satisfaction of Thermomass insulation systems for Nordstrom buildings reflects both companies’ common commitment to cost control for all products and their uncompromising desire for quality and craftsmanship.
“As a Nordstrom executive told me, ‘Nordstrom will never be the cheapest store in the mall, but you will find quality items at a reasonable price,'” recalled Seeber. “The same applies to Thermomass. They are both first-class operations with first-class people”.