Michelle Couture

AIA

Regional Manager and Senior Managing Architect

Biography

Michelle is a licensed professional architect with over 20 years of experience in architectural evaluations of existing buildings, with a primary focus on evaluation of building envelope systems. Her experience includes roofing and cladding repair designs, construction document development, peer review of facade design detailing, facade and window condition assessments and testing, facade and roofing infrared inspections, pre-purchase surveys, development and documentation of destructive or diagnostic field investigations, and construction administration services. Michelle has provided damage assessments and water leakage source investigations for numerous condominium construction defect claims. Consulting services have included thorough documentation of destructive investigations, project and building code research, data analysis, and formulation of reports and presentations of expert opinions.

Credentials

  • AIA | American Institute of Architecture

Representative Consulting Assignments

  • The Exchange Building | Seattle, WA | Masonry facade assessment, repair design, construction observation and CA services.
  • Everett Group Health | Everett, WA | Facade reclad design with terra cotta panel rain screen system.
  • King County Courthouse | Seattle, WA | Masonry facade assessment, repair design, construction observation and CA services.
  • Fremont Apartments | Seattle, WA | Facade evaluation and reclad design.
  • Northgate Plaza | Seattle, WA | Masonry facade assessment, repair design, construction observation and CA services of commercial structure.
  • Windsor Windows | Cohasset, WA | Water intrusion investigation related to windows. Provided litigation support services and development of trial presentation.
  • Kolbe Windows | Willapa Bay, WA | Water intrusion investigation related to windows. Provided litigation support services and development of trial presentation.
  • Brooks Campus | Seattle, WA | Water intrusion investigation and repair recommendations related to concrete and curtain wall assemblies.
  • Edmonds Seacrest Condominium | Edmonds, WA | Water intrusion and damage investigation, assessment of stucco and wood lap siding clad condominium building.
  • Marketplace North Condominium | Seattle, WA | Water intrusion and damage investigation, assessment of stucco, EIFS, and masonry clad condominium building.
  • Franssen | Oak Harbor, WA | Water intrusion and damage investigation, assessment of stucco and fiber cement lap siding clad condominium building with retrofit windows.
  • 8501 Condominiums | Seattle, WA | Water intrusion and damage investigation, assessment of marblecrete clad condominium building. Provided expert consulting related to architectural detailing and causes of water intrusion. Named as expert witness.
  • Sage v. Bainbridge Island Holdings | Bainbridge Island, WA | Damage and water intrusion investigation of CorTen steel and wood siding clad condominium building. Provided expert consulting and was deposed related to architectural standard of care.
  • Brisben Greens of Merill Creek LP v. Indian Harbor et al. | Everett, WA | Damage and water intrusion investigation of masonry veneer and vinyl siding clad apartment buildings. Provided expert consulting and was deposed related to architectural detailing and causes of water intrusion.
  • Fairwood Landing | Renton, WA | Repair design, permitting and construction administration of fire damaged wood siding clad apartment building.
  • Grandview Condominium | Seattle, WA | Water intrusion investigation related to concrete and storefront window assemblies.
  • Grand Wailea Resort | Wailea, HI | Tile damage investigation.
  • Kihei Regency Apartments | Kihei, HI | Repair design and permitting of fire damaged stucco clad apartment building.
  • Janet S. Takamura | Kekaha, HI | Building code analysis for a single-family residence.
  • Mauna Kea Beach Hotel | Waimea, HI | Water intrusion investigation related to roof assembly.

Professional Experience

  • 2023 - Current | Regional Manager and Senior Managing Architect | YA Engineering Services
  • 2021 - 2023 | Project Manager | YA Engineering Services
  • 2019 - 2020 | Senior Associate | YA Engineering Services
  • 2017 - 2018 | Principal | Michelle E. Couture Architectural Consulting, PLLC
  • 2004 - 2017 | Senior Associate/Architect: | Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc.

Area of Practice

  • ADA Compliance Assessment
  • Building Code Upgrade Review
  • Building Envelope
  • Construction Administration
  • Historic Preservation
  • Infrared Thermography
  • Litigation Support
  • Repair and Rehabilitation Design
  • Sustainability

Publications and Presentations

  • Couture, M., Morden, M., Kotulka R. , Forensic Architecture , Presentation to SeaBEC ,
  • Couture, M., Vorley W. , Community Associations Presentation , WSCAI , Spring Maintenance ,
  • Couture, M. , WSCAI , Facilitating Energy Conservation in Multifamily Housing , Community Associations Journal ,

Education

  • University of Minnesota - Bachelor of Science - Architectural Studies - Twin Cities - Minnesota
  • Cornell University - Certificate - Leadership Essentials - Ithica - New York

Affiliations

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Seattle Building Enclosure Council (SeaBEC)

Licenses

  • AR-19673 - Hawaii - Registered Architect
  • 11709 - Washington - Registered Architect