James Center: Real Wall Appearance And Durability

Hourigan, an integrated construction and development firm based in Virginia, specializes in healthcare, corporate, government and specialty construction. The James Center is a 1M-square-foot Class A office and retail space located in Richmond’s financial district comprised of two towers. Both James Center buildings are uniquely designed and provide sweeping views of the picturesque James River.

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“We found STARC provided two things the competitors could not: a real-wall appearance and durability. We expect to use this product for five years or more. It was an investment and it paid off.”

Scott Thomas, Director, Special Projects Group, Hourigan

The Challenge

Hourigan has multiple projects at the James Center including renovations to the Building One lobby. Hourigan’s plan included renovating an occupied space: 5,500 square feet in the first-floor lobby area.

Hourigan searched for a temporary containment wall system to mask ALL renovations and seamlessly blend into the surroundings. “We had been looking at systems in general but with this big project in premium Class A office space, we needed something special,” said Hourigan’s Scott Thomas, Director, Special Projects Group. “If someone walks by in a suit, you don’t want them to see or hear any construction. You want them to think they are in a hospital setting—clean and sterile.”

The lobby construction area proved to be challenging with an open space that extended through several open floors above. The temporary wall system must not only hide all construction work for several floors but all construction sounds, too.

Our Solution

STARC provided a temporary construction barrier with the real-wall appearance Hourigan was looking for. The walls blending into the surrounding lobby and buffering all sound from the renovation site. “Crisp and clean,” described Scott.  “It’s sharp looking stuff. You walk by and say, ‘That’s good stuff’. You can see the quality. This system has that kind of look; it makes us look good.”

Also, crews found the maneuverability, set up and take down of the panels quick and easy. “We have a perimeter set up in the lobby and we built stairs in the hole,” explained Scott. “It was very easy to take down 6 to 8 feet of wall to bring in scaffolding. You take out a small section, bring in equipment and then put it back up.”

Crews easily adapted the STARC panels to accommodate the additional extended height issues. “We used STARC in the lobby that needed containment for the open floors above. We added fire rated plastics and we were then able to add an additional containment system on top of the panels extending to the other floors for all 23 feet,” said Scott. “It worked extremely well. We used it in a non-standard way and did a great job of dust retention.”

Hourigan crews found the STARC System panels extremely quick and easy to install. So easy, in fact, that the crews quickly constructed a temporary office as they moved into Phase 2 of work at the James Center.

“It goes up and goes down very quickly. We built a temporary construction office in about 1 hour. And we can take it down in 30 minutes. We made ourselves an office on the second floor, and now we have an office with doors on site, that are locked and secure.”


“We could have done it with the competitor’s product, but we found STARC provided two things the competitors could not: a real-wall appearance and durability. We expect to use this product for five years or more,” said Scott. “It was an investment and it paid off.”

Next, Hourigan plans to use STARC Systems in renovations to the James Center Skybridge this fall.

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