Bhojwani Tower gets a fresh new façade with lightweight gauged porcelain tile panel/slabs.
To meet the standards of the International Building Code and the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board, porcelain exterior cladding was the material of choice for Bhojwani Tower’s renovation.
Built in the late 1950s, Bhojwani Tower was designed by Albert Anis, known for his Art Deco architecture. Originally a bank, the tower, located on the corner of one of Miami Beach’s busiest pedestrian intersections, operates as a mixed-use building with residential and retail spaces. To update the building’s exterior, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design had to adhere to strict building codes while also meeting the requirements of the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.
South Florida’s coastal areas fall into the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. Miami-Dade County identified that wind and rain do not cause the most damage in strong storms. Rather, loose exterior building pieces become projectiles during extreme conditions and cause the most serious damage. For this reason, the International Building Code does not allow anything larger than three square feet to be attached to the outside of a building. The danger was that the adhesives would cure before larger cladding pieces could be secured in place—especially in Miami’s warm climate—and faulty adhesion would make cladding more prone to fly off during storms. To meet all code and preservation requirements, the Kobi Karp design team specified gauged porcelain tile panel/slabs to cover the exterior walls of the Bhojwani Tower. The team advised Miami-Dade County officials that the material’s size, weight, and durability would meet stringent building codes while also meeting the desired budget.
Careful planning and consideration ensured the chosen materials for this project would endure the South Florida weather while also meeting International Building Code standards. The cladding material needed to be light enough so that it could be handled by as few workers as possible and adhered quickly. This is important to note for the Bhojwani project—a location on a busy street corner in the heart of the tourist district. If the architects had specified natural stone, the project team would have faced time-consuming challenges and safety issues. Lightweight, 1M x 3M porcelain panels were specified, which required only a three-man crew to lift the tiles through the scaffolding and put in place – reducing both time and risk factors for the project during installation.
Beyond the benefits of installation efficiencies, the tile panels’ classic, timeless look answered aesthetic demands, and are strong enough to withstand the harsh South Florida elements. Innately resistant to UV rays and highly scratch-and deep abrasion resistant, the porcelain panels are eco-friendly, are comprised of natural raw materials, and do not release toxins into the environment.
Right style, right performance, right for the environment— Bhojwani Tower’s updated porcelain tile exterior ideally met Miami Beach’s preservation standards, established to preserve the season-less appeal of this international travel destination.
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