If you plan to buy or renovate a building, you are probably thinking
about present and future repair and maintenance issues. With an
independent assessment of the building's condition, you have
- Less risk of hidden defects and future problems
- A rational basis for allocating budget to repairs, if they
- Less dependence on potentially interested parties such as
contractors and suppliers for advice
And you avoid wasting time and money on issues that may not be
Yale University Bingham Hall
Address the cause, not only the symptoms.
When Yale University set out to renovate this 19th Century dormitory,
the sandstone exterior walls were delaminating in patches, the
cast-stone window trim was spalling, and the ornamental penthouse
structure had deteriorated to the point where pieces of masonry
were in danger of falling to the ground below.
Leavitt Associates worked with architects Herbert S. Newman
and Partners to identify what issues needed to be addressed and
what issues could be left alone.
We determined that the sandstone deterioration was associated
only with unheated parts of the building, that extending the building's
heating system to these areas would stop the problem from progressing
further, and that insulating the exterior walls would be an unwise
decision, because it would cause the deterioration to start in
These simple insights steered the University away from attempting
to replace the deteriorating stone, which would have been an extremely
expensive process. Leavitt Associates advised replacing the deteriorating
cast stone trim, because its deterioration was caused by a chemical
carbonation process that could not be stopped. We developed an
effective through-wall flashing and anchorage method that ensured
the new sills (made with epoxy-coated reinforcement) would not
become a source of leakage in the future.
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