September 13, 2023

Project Spotlight – John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Final touches on the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) building have finally been complete. Located in Washington D.C., completion of the redesign comes just in time for the start of Fall 2023 classes. Construction on this project involved the conversion of the historic Newseum Building, located mere minutes from the United States Capitol, into the new home for SAIS.

The Newseum Building, with its storied past as a museum dedicated to the First Amendment and the free press, was chosen as the ideal canvas for SAIS, a renowned institution in the field of international relations and diplomacy. This ambitious endeavor sought to preserve the historic exterior, with minor changes, while modernizing the interior to accommodate the university’s growing needs.

To safeguard the building against the elements and to ensure its structural integrity, the project team turned to Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP. This advanced air, vapor, and water barrier system was applied to the exterior of the building, playing a vital role in controlling the movement of air, vapor, and water within the building envelope.

One of the key challenges of this project was the installation of stone cladding, which serves as the finishing façade for the building. Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP was strategically applied around the metal brackets supporting the truss assembly responsible for carrying this stone cladding. This application not only protects the structure but also ensures the cladding’s durability and longevity.

The decision to use Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP came with several advantages, contributing to the overall success of the project:

  1. Non-Permeable Protection: Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP creates a non-permeable barrier, safeguarding the building from water and air penetration, even in extreme weather conditions.
  2. Exceptional Weatherability: With excellent weatherability properties, this product is built to withstand the test of time, ensuring the building remains a symbol of SAIS excellence for generations to come.
  3. Energy Efficiency: By contributing to the creation of an airtight building envelope, Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP aids in reducing energy costs, aligning with the university’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency.


The completion of the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies building represents the harmonious marriage of history and modernity. With the application of Pecora XL-Perm ULTRA NP, this iconic structure not only stands as a testament to the institution’s commitment to excellence in international education but also as a symbol of the enduring legacy of the Newseum Building.

To learn more about Pecora’s air barriers and related products, please visit their website at


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